Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) was one of America’s greatest heroines. Born into slavery in New York, she became a powerful voice for abolition and women’s rights. Her most famous speech—“Ain’t I A Woman?”—was delivered at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in 1851. For the next 30 years she remained a key participant in the national debate over abolition, voting rights, and women’s equality.
For the costume, here are the pieces we suggest, from left to right:
1. Mid-century dress. Littlehuggs Reenactment Costumes offers a basic dress with the correct mid-19th century silhouette, in either a front-closing or back-closing style. We suggest the dark blue.
2. White bonnet. We suggest the “prairie bonnet” (scroll down to the middle of the page), which looks the most similar to the sun bonnet Sojourner wore. The brim can be folded back if it seems too large. You could also do a white head wrap.
3. Victorian lace-up boots.
4. White neckerchief. The old Quaker kerchief lives on as chef’s wear! It’s just a rectangle of crisp linen, about 30 x 40 inches, so if you have some old sheets or pillowcases lying around, you can make one yourself. Wrap it around your neck and cross the ends over in front, then secure it with a safety pin.
5. White shawl with fringe. This is a beautiful shawl and the price is great.
6. Rectangular eyeglasses. These wire frame spectacles are a reasonably good match for the ones Sojourner wore.