Tuesday, November 11, 2014
This is beautiful indeed; the colored people have given this to the head of the government, and that government once sanctioned laws that would not permit its people to learn enough to enable them to read this book.
Sojourner Truth (c. 1777-1883), African American slave; later an itinerant preacher and advocate of various social reforms including abolition, woman suffrage, and temperance. As quoted in The Narrative of Sojourner Truth, part 2: "Book of Life," by Frances W. Titus (1875).
Said in 1864 to President Abraham Lincoln, whom Truth staunchly supported, when he showed her a Bible presented to him "by the colored people of Baltimore." Truth was illiterate; this story is taken from a letter, written by a friend at Truth's dictation, to Rowland Johnson. It was dated November 17, 1864, from Freedman's Village, Virginia. Truth was referring to laws that prohibited teaching slaves to read and write.