Black History Month Mother to Celebrate!

In the spirit of black history month, my household is celebrating a black trailblazer every day to promote pride and educate on the history of Black Americans. The trailblazer of today is Sojourner Truth and I couldn’t help but feel inspired by her story as a woman, a freedom fighter, and most importantly A MOTHER.

For those of you who don’t know the history of Sojourner Truth, she is the definition of a mom on a mission! Sojourner Truth was a black evangelist, abolitionist, women’s rights activist and author who lived a miserable life as a slave, serving several masters throughout New York before escaping to freedom in 1826. After gaining her freedom, Truth became a Christian and, at what she believed was God’s urging, preached about abolitionism and equal rights for all, highlighted in her stirring “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech, delivered at a women’s convention in Ohio in 1851. She continued her crusade for the rest of her life, earning an audience with President Abraham Lincoln and becoming one of the world’s best-known human rights crusaders.

Amazing right? But the piece of her story that I would like to focus on is what happened as she gained her freedom. It was her inner “mama bear” that led to her fighting for what is right.

When Sojourner gained her freedom, her former master illegally sold her five-year-old son, Peter, into slavery in Alabama. With the help of the Van Wagenen’s (an abolitionist family who bought her freedom and helped her escape), she filed a lawsuit to get Peter back. Months later, Sojourner won her case and regained custody of her son who was being abused by his current slave owner. She was the first black woman to sue a white man in a United States court and prevail.

I believe this story speaks volumes to what a mom on a mission can do when she is fighting for the safety and life of her child. Although it was unheard of for a black woman to prevail in court against a white man, Sojourner had faith and she knew she had to battle because this was her child. I believe we all can relate to this experience because we all want what’s best for our children and as mothers we will go to the end of the world and beyond to make sure our little ones are safe and secure.

This story inspired me because I believe we all have a little Sojourner in us. So, when times get tough, don’t forget who and what you are fighting for. Many mothers came before us and fought for our right to be the amazing mothers we are today with opportunities, with careers, with assets, with a VOICE to say how our children should be raised. Let’s not forget and always strive to honor their fight and continue to be moms on a mission.

This snippet from Sojouner’s “Ain’t I a Woman” speech shows the power we have as women and mothers to create change and continue our mission to make the world a better place.

“That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman?…

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them”

Although black history month is nearing to the end, don’t fret because there are still ways to celebrate the rich history of heritage for you, your family, and friends. During black history month, I love to engage with my family and friends and attend festivals, seminars, and celebrations all month long which I encourage all individuals to do despite your race, ethnicity, or nationality. Black history month can be one that embraces pride and love for a group of people that have been historically oppressed and still overcame. I hope you continue to educate and embrace this heritage as a fellow mom on a mission!

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