|Maria W. Stewart, America's |
First Black Woman
Isabella Baumfree (1797-1883) who adopted the name Sojourner Truth in response to a Christian calling, was born in Ulster County, New York, and worked her way from field laborer to liberty. Known for her fiery public speaking, Sojourner Truth made a lasting impact with her brief but landmark speech, "Ar'n’t I a Woman," which she delivered on an outdoor platform in Ohio in June 1851. Her speech defends the dignity of Black women who were forced to perform physical labor against social attitudes that narrowly equated femininity with White womanhood.