by Marguerite Kearns
During the 1970s and 1980s I lived in Ulster County where Sojourner Truth was born and raised in captivity. I found Sojourner Truth to be among the courageous residents of Ulster County even though she had a very mixed experience there.
Today the university library at SUNY New Paltz is named after her. In Port Ewen, NY there’s a statue of her as a child. The State of New York is in the process of installing a statue of Sojourner Truth as an adult on state land today. And there’s a plaque commemorating her on the front lawn of the Ulster County courthouse in Kingston, NY.
When I visited the Smith College library collection in the past few years I requested to see what they had on Sojourner Truth. They had an original of her vintage photo that she used to distribute and raise funds during her lifetime. Sojourner was a traveling minister, abolitionist, and women’s rights activist. It was quite an experience to hold in my hands something that I believe Sojourner touched.
Next year in the spring of 2021 I’ll be publishing a memoir and family history of my experiences as a family member of suffrage activists. Sojourner Truth wasn’t part of my family, but she made a big impact on me when I lived in Ulster County, New York for 20 years. So expect more from me in the future about Sojourner.
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