- In 1851, Sojourner Truth addressed the first Black Women’s Rights Convention. “Ain’t I a Woman?” is the name given to a speech, delivered extemporaneously, by Sojourner Truth, (1797-1883), born into slavery in New York State. Some time after gaining her freedom in 1827, she became a well known anti-slavery speaker. Her speech was delivered at the Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio, on May 29, 1851, and was not originally known by any title. It was briefly reported in two contemporary newspapers, and a transcript of the speech was published in the Anti-Slavery Bugle on June 21, 1853.
The speech received wider publicity in 1863 during the American Civil War when Frances Dana Barker Gage published a different version, one which became known as Ain’t I a Woman? because of its oft-repeated question. This later, better known and more widely available version has been the one referenced by most historians.
- In 1966, Constance Baker Motley First Black Woman appointed Federal Judge.