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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bust of Sojourner Truth Unveiled at US Capitol

You go, girl!!!! Sojourner Truth became the first African-American woman to be honored with a bust in the US Capitol. On Tuesday, April 28, Sojourner’s bust, created by artist, Artis Lane, was unveiled.

Hillary Clinton said of Sojourner Truth, during the special ceremony to present the bust to the public, that Sojourner " preached against capital punishment, advocated for prison reform, she recruited African American troops for the Union army (during the Civil War), she helped to desegregate the streetcars that ran through Washington, and worked diligently to improve living conditions for freed men and women."

Michelle Obama said,"I hope that Sojourner Truth would be proud to see me, a descendent of slaves, serving as the first lady of the United States of America."

During the unveiling ceremony, actress Cicely Tyson did a reenactment of Sojourner’s famous Ain’t I A Woman speech. Though I did not hear Ms.Tyson, my favorite reading of this speech is by the actress Alfre Woodard. I have read the Ain't I A Woman speech several times, but the Alfre Woodard reading made me feel closer to Sojourner Truth and feel even prouder that I am named after Sojourner.

Sojourner Truth gave her famous speech in May of 1851, at the Ohio's Women Rights Convention. Here is the link to Alfre Woodard reading Ain’t I A Woman.

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