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Black History Month: Two Black Female Educators Who Who Made Their Mark In The World

Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) was an African American evangelist, abolitionist, and women's rights activist. Her truth is famous for her iconic 1851 speech on racial inequality in the Ohio Women's Rights Treaty. The truth is a former slave born to Isabella Bonfree in the Dutch-speaking New York in 1797. Before New York passed a law to liberate slavery in 1827, the truth fled with her young daughter to a nearby family of abolitionists. Van Wageners, a family of abolitionists, bought Truth's Freedom for a total of $ 20. Van Wageners also helped Truth successfully rescue his five-year-old son, who had been illegally sold to slaves in Alabama. By regaining her son, the truth became the first black woman to win a proceeding against a white man. In 1828, Truth moved to New York, where she worked for a local minister and changed her name to Sojourner Truth. During this time, Truth learned to read and write English, and she decided to devote her life to the abolition of slavery. The truth is considered one of the most important American women to date, and many colleges, organizations and monuments celebrate her achievements.

Charlotte Forten Grimkke (1837-1914) was an African American writer, teacher, abolitionist, and suffrage. Born in 1837 to a family of wealthy Pennsylvania abolitionists, Grimke is well known in journals written in the mid-to-late 1850s and later published after her death. In her writings, Grimke provides a rare, direct explanation of what it was like to live as a black woman in the northern states. At the age of 17, Grimke attended the Higginsong Grammar School in Salem, Massachusetts, and she was the only African American student in a class of 200 students. After her graduation, she worked as a teacher at Grimke's Epes Grammar School, and she raised her interest in her abolitionist movement by attending lectures against slavery, when she was 22 years old. She joined the Association for the Opposition to Women's Slavery. In 1862, at the height of the Civil War, Grimke moved to South Carolina to teach previously enslaved children. Grimke also published an essay in the Atlantic monthly magazine, which included her life in the Sea Islands, detailing her work on the Sea Islands mission. Grimke married in 1878 and she continued her missionary work. She spent her last few years in Washington, DC, before her death in 1914. Today, Grimke's Washington, DC home is a national protection landmark in the United States and serves as a historical reminder of her contribution to her human rights.

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