Sojourner Truth added to suffragists’ monument in Washington

Sojourner Truth

From Feminist Daily News in the USA:

BREAKING NEWS: Sojourner Truth to be Added to Suffragist Statue in Congress

A bill just passed in the Senate this morning that authorizes the addition of Sojourner Truth’s image to a statue honoring suffragists in the basement of the US Capitol building.

HB 4510 had already passed in the House; with its passage in the Senate, congressional approval is complete.

Dr. C. Dolores Tucker, a lifetime champion of civil rights and women’s rights, fought tirelessly for the inclusion of Sojourner Truth in the Capitol building’s tribute to suffragists.

Women’s suffrage in the USA and police in 1913: here; in 1917: here.

Lucy Parsons: here.

Rosa Parks here.

Fannie Lou Hamer: here.

Coretta Scott King: here.

18th century English feminist Mary Robinson: here.

US model housewife turns feminist: here.

USA: Bush administration and women’s reproductive rights: here.

New Zealand fighter for women’s rights and peace Sonja Davies: here.

British 1960s feminism: here.

From the Google cache, 10/25/05:

Today’s news: Rosa Parks, famous civil rights fighter in the United States, died at the age of 92.

All my condolences to her family, friends, and co-fighters.

In centuries to come, people will still fondly remember her name. While the names of her petty racist contemporaries will be forgotten.

On 1 Decamber 1955, Rosa Lee McCauley Parks refused to obey the racist laws of the US South: by refusing to move from the “whites only” front side of a bus.

Her courageous stand triggered a mass movement, including Dr Martin Luther King, against discrimination of Black people in the US.

It achieved many victories.

However, as hurricane Katrina and other signs show today, not final victory yet.

So, today, we still need people with the courage of Rosa Parks, to carry on her fight.

Stephanie Koontz on women’s and African American struggles: here.

Women’s Suffrage and Anti-Racism – 1912: here.

Lucy Parsons: here.

8 thoughts on “Sojourner Truth added to suffragists’ monument in Washington

  1. Intervention of the Afro-Asian Peoples’ Solidarity Organization (AAPSO)
    Third Civil Conference parallel to Future Forum
    27 ­ 28 November 2006

    Women empowerment has gained weight in various reform projects and initiatives especially those based on the first human development report issued in the Arab World. The report has specified three major deficiencies that hamper the development process: absence of freedom, lack of knowledge, and deterioration of women status in the Arab World.

    Women empowerment means effective involvement of women in decision-making; widening the scope of the available opportunities and options; creation of new opportunities; along with raising awareness of gender equality. It is impossible to consider the issue of women empowerment apart from the social, cultural and political background of the community at large. In addition, any community cannot not undergo a real reform or development without giving room for women¹s active participation, particularly political empowerment of women as a milestone of achieving the aspired democracy.

    An examination of reform projects, be they those that emerged as a result of strong internal demands of Arab intellectuals and human rights¹ advocates who have claimed political emancipation for long years; or the initiatives that heavily spread all over the region by foreign countries, reveal that none of them had thoroughly addressed or conducted the desired in-depth analysis on women¹s issue. There is a considerable discrepancy in handling this issue. Hence, the process of women incorporation in decision making and influencing this process is still lagging behind. There are several reasons for and hurdles before women¹s political empowerment – some are attributed to the governing regimes in our Arab countries and others to international conditions and pressures.

    Following are some internal factors delaying women empowerment:
    1- Customs and traditions and the nature of patriarchal culture that feeds discrimination against women as manifest in the posts women assume. Thus, women do not assume the post of President of republic, state or kingdom in the Arab World. Even in labour and professional councils and syndicates which abound in huge numbers of female administrators and executives, the percentage of women declines at leadership and decision-making level.

    2- Deficiency in the implementation of some laws or absence of laws equitable to women. It is true that many Arab countries have issued equitable laws and constitutions and endorsed international conventions and agreements; however, such countries have imposed constraints and triggered mechanisms that hinder the application of theses treaties. Some other countries haven’t treated women fairly enough due to religious or community authorities.

    3- Increase in the rates of illiteracy in addition to limitation of women¹s role in community. Undoubtedly, illiteracy rates are still high in Arab communities ­ particularly amongst women. There is also ignorance of the roles women can play in the community; hence, some decision-making posts are only restricted to men. Moreover, women abstain from nomination and voting out of the firm conviction of their inability to shoulder such responsibility.

    4- Absence of the roles of parties and ignorance of their platforms. Despite the huge number of political parties in our Arab countries, parties have been fragmented through internal conflicts over presidential posts or lack of influence as regards the layman in the street or elsewhere. All these factors weakened the role of political parties and their ability to compete during elections except for a small number.
    These factors were also reflected on the performance of some parties represented in their disinterest to introduce women cadres in elections, considering this adventurous. Instead, they nominate their well-known men cadres. Furthermore, political parties do not give women any leading roles.

    5- Absence or lack of organizations and coalitions supportive of women. Women¹s organizations and associations as well as political parties exist in the Arab World; however, they are poor for several reasons. Such organizations lack the clear and cautious policies that support and motivate women to politically participate in the community through the training programmes and projects. In case such strategy was provided, lack of financial and human resources constitute hindrances before women. Organizations face a big dilemma when addressing all categories of the society due to some laws which restrict their activities or due to their unfelt role in communities where the concept and role of civil society haven’t been soundly and clearly formed. Moreover, lack of coordination and exchange of experience among such organizations poses another obstacle to the political support and empowerment of women.

    6- Lack of models of previously nominated or elected women. Inability to highlight previous experience renders evaluation difficult and consequently same obstacles persist. The election process is always accompanied by propaganda campaigns calling for women¹s participation in election and urging women to nominate or vote for whoever gains their trust. Adversely, as soon as elections are over, the media role comes to an end as if the message of media is restricted only to the event. Consequently, women empowerment issue loses an important pillar.

    The Arab Nation witnesses transitional stages represented in democratic experiences, new in some Arab countries and immature and restricted to formalities rather than essence in other countries. This is clearly reflected on women¹s status in the Arab community. Woman¹s representation in parliaments is very low and might be zero in some countries. Solutions adopted to support women by some organizations failed sometimes when some female MPs were appointed as per quota system, however proved incompetent or inefficient.

    We have noticed that elections in some countries of the region depend on clannish, tribal, or sectarian basis. Regardless of the forms and patterns of electoral systems, whether according to individual nomination, by list or otherwise, female candidates are often vulnerable to sexual harassment; threatened by murder; subjected to assault or insult; some stringent groups may tarnish their reputation; some may hire groups to intimidate women. This made many women including those who previously ran for elections abstain from repeating such experience. In addition, spread of political and administrative corruption; absence of democracy in elections; lack of integrity in real supervision and in scrutineering of votes led further to marginalizing the role of women and deterioration of their status.

    All the above mentioned factors constitute a burden against women¹s political empowerment; women were equally hampered from assuming their role through external factors. Thus, all reform projects and initiatives directed to the region such as the Greater Middle East Initiative calls for establishment of democracy and peace based on citizenship principle and all are equal before law. Such initiatives refer to lack of freedom and knowledge; absence of women empowerment in the Arab World; and this inflames extremism, terrorism, international crime and illegal migration and consequently also threatens the interests of G8 countries.

    Therefore, we call for the elimination of the core reasons behind international terrorism in order to realize reform. What we obviously see now is that a certain power tries to control the universe in a cruel and totalitarian means and sometimes depend on military attack and forcible change of some governing regimes in the region or even by less severe means which is seemingly noble under the guise of dissemination of the culture of democracy and respect of human rights principles.

    A good example is the inhuman Israeli aggression currently taking place in Palestine supported by international ominous silence and political blockade that extended to be an unprecedented economic blockade; thus, bank balances were frozen as well as financial and food aids directed to the Palestinian people.

    At the same time, the United States of America provides Israel with ammunition and equipment necessary to violate human rights while the international political arena fails to take any actions against Israel that became obstinate in implementing the United Nations resolutions. Otherwise, why hasn’t Israel stopped building the separating wall after the decision of the International Court of Justice! We have also seen the US desperate attempts to stop issuing a Security Council resolution condemning Israel for Beet Hanon massacre

    Under such practices and pressures against the Palestinian democratically elected government, we wonder how women could be politically empowered to participate in the elections and how could we empower women to serve their community under such a tragic condition.

    The status in Iraq is similar to Palestine. After the big lie of weapons of mass destruction ; unfulfilling the promise that Iraq shall become an example of democracy in the region; admitting the dismal failure of the US project and its allies in Iraq; and after such failure has been a major reason in Democrats¹ access to the Congress ­ Senate and House of Representatives ­ and victory over the Republicans, it is impossible for women empowerment to assume any role under the current status of security deterioration; sectarian, clannish and religious break-ups; and the mounting of terrorist acts which continue in Afghanistan with the emergence of El-Qada and Talaban once more.

    If the current Iraqi constitution granted women some rights, some infidelity charges prevented them from participating in the elections and resulted in the murder of many women ­ thus women are afraid to walk in the street. What we presently witness in the region at the hands of the great states is a serious strategy to divide the region and steal its wealth in the name of freedom and democracy. We cannot overlook the economic policies and procedures through which such states dominate the region using globalization tools including the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Bank (WB), and the International Monetary (IMF) which further deteriorated the economic and societal conditions in the Arab World leading to adding injury to the insult of women¹s status and marginalizing their role.

    It is essential that the great states reconsider their policies towards the region under mobilization and take the actions necessary to preserve international peace and security along with giving a greater role to the United Nations (UN). Meanwhile, the governing regimes must try hard to effectuate real internal reforms and encourage pluralism and political participation from all the different factions and segments ­ men and women.

    All organizations and institutions of the civil society must take the initiative to develop a political strategy that fulfills the needs of the community and the claims of women through conducting detailed research works and studies on the weaknesses, strengths and stakeholders required to give momentum to women¹s political participation and empowerment.

    The civil society should also involve in coordination efforts with governmental organizations and private sector to establish funds in support of the election process and raise the awareness of women¹s role in order to increase their participation level in the community.


  2. Only Passing Through
    The Story of Sojourner Truth

    By Anne Rockwell Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

    Isabella was only nine when she was sold for the first time. … The slave auctioneer had to throw in a flock of sheep before someone bid on the skinny young girl. But this young girl would grow. She would grow to become a brave, strong, towering woman who would speak out against the evils of slavery. She would transform herself into one of the most powerful voices of the abolitionist movement and would help to change the course of a nation. The slave girl Isabella would become the legendary Sojourner Truth. This is her story.

    This beautifully illustrated story of Sojourner Truth’s transformation from slave to freedom fighter is the winner of the New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Children’s Book and the Coretta Scott King Honor.

    Hardcover, author’s note, chronology, pp 32, 9 in. x 11 in.


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