The Struggle Begins
On the left of the canvas, I have juxtaposed the two strong Black Women to be in front of the “Rebel Flag” which represented injustice for black people. On the flag are cotton bolls and shackles, symbols of the oppression and forced labor of our people. On the right and seeming to come out of the flag as if in a dream I have drawn a chain of slaves being driven to market. As you gaze at this canvas you see the story from Africa to the American South and from there the struggle for freedom and justice led by Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth.
Harriet Tubman’s life was a monument to courage and determination that continues to stand out in American history. Born into slavery in 1819 or 1820, in Dorchester County Maryland, Harriet Tubman freed herself, and played a major role in freeing over 300 slaves to the north.
Sojourner Truth: Abolitionist, Minister, Ex-Slave, Woman’s Rights Activist. The woman we know as Sojourner Truth was born into slavery in New York as Isabella Baumfree (after her father’s owner, Baumfree). In 1843, she took the name Sojourner Truth, believing this to be on the instructions of the Holy Spirit and became a traveling preacher (the meaning of her new name). In the late 1840s she connected with the abolitionist movement, becoming a popular speaker. In 1850, she also began speaking on woman suffrage. Her most famous speech, Ain’t I a Woman?, was given in 1851 at a women’s rights convention in Ohio. During the Civil War Sojourner Truth raised food and clothing contributions for black regiments, and met Abraham Lincoln at the White House in 1864. While there, she tried to challenge the discrimination that segregated street cars by race.
Original oil on archival canvas wrap
Size: 24″ x 48″