The Secret Sordid Past Of Sojourner Truth

photo of sojourner sitting down
Graciella Ye’Tsunami
June 11, 2024

Sojourner Truth saw visions confirming God’s presence in her life. After emancipating herself, she became a housekeeper for Robert Matthews, a  “prophet” infamous for his sordid personal life and shady business dealings.

When Matthew’s business partner fell ill in  July 1834, Matthews, citing their religious beliefs, refused to bring in a doctor. After the business partner died, an autopsy found poison in his body. Matthews was tried for Pierson’s murder. Some of Matthews’ friends accused Truth of murder, saying she had also tried to poison them. Their lies didn’t work.

In the following decades, Truth accomplished even more as the beloved figure we know as Sojourner Truth. Her past, though sometimes wrought with danger along the way, made her a stronger contender for demanding justice in a racist system.

Like Truth, we all have pasts we’ve outgrown. How can we use our gained knowledge to stand up for ourselves whenever we are met with injustice?