Sojourner's Truth

by Lauren Bealore

This poem was created to highlight the untold love story of Sojourner Truth.  Around 1815, Truth met and fell in love with a slave named Robert from a neighboring farm. Robert's owner (Charles Catton, Jr., a landscape painter) forbade their relationship; he did not want his slave to have children with a slave he did not own, because he would not own the children. One day Robert snuck over to see Truth. When Catton and his son found him, they savagely beat Robert until someone finally intervened, and Truth never saw Robert again. He later died as a result of the injuries, and the experience haunted Truth throughout her life. During the time of slavery, there were many relationships in the slave community that were limited by the slave master’s dominion. It is said that to this day the lack of love able to be had in the slave community went on to effect relationships in the black community even in today’s society. This poem highlights Sojourner’s one weakness in her strength and the voice for many black women today that suffer to balance love and life. 

Ain’t I a woman

I held the bleeding heart of many men

But none bled harder than the one ruined by Catton

The one I would never see again


Ain’t I a woman

I spoke the word of 10,000 tongues

But only wanted to speak to one

Our language was held by none


Ain’t I a woman

I raised my hand to question man

To strike discord in the everyday plan

But I raised to the sun to plead for his hand


Aint I a woman

My strength held the rights of cups overflown

And honey I saw the seeds I planted grown

But the pain from the beating I bear alone


Ain’t I a woman

See, I wasn’t really free

Because my life was held in captivity

By the love that never could be

But because I’m a woman, I’m told that this is me

My daughters of even the barren womb won’t be able to flee

They will be confined to society

That’s what I learned that day in 1815

That even when I’m nice I’m mean

That I’m dull even when I gleam

That I’m dirty and won’t sparkle clean

That I don’t deserve love that intertwines in my seams

Because I’m a woman

I’m limited to a picturesque scene

Designed by a Master of manipulative schemes

Haunted by freedom only in my dreams

Posted on June 15, 2015 .