Contact: Fredie Kay
Northampton, Mass. (February 22, 2022) — Suffrage100MA, Sojourner Truth Memorial Committee and Mayor Gina-Louise Sciarra are delighted to announce that a historic women’s suffrage marker for Sojourner Truth will be unveiled in Northampton in spring 2022, as part of the National Votes for Women Trail. The marker will be located at the Sojourner Truth Memorial Park at the intersection of Park Street and Pine Street in Florence, in close proximity to the home once owned in the nineteenth century by Truth, a renowned suffragist and abolitionist. The project is funded through a grant by the William G. Pomeroy Foundation® and sponsored by the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites/National Votes for Women Trail.
“Sojourner Truth is internationally revered as one of the most courageous women in our nation’s existence, and remains a pivotal part of Northampton’s history,” says Carol Rinehart, Co-Chair of the Sojourner Truth Memorial Committee. “Truth’s impassioned voice called not only for the abolition of slavery, but for total equality, voting rights for all citizens, and women’s rights. This marker, honoring her time here in our city, will invite visitors to honor her remarkable contributions to women’s suffrage.”
“Thanks to the unanimous support of the Historic Commission and City Council, and the hard work of the Department of Public Works, Northampton looks forward to installing this important historic marker for Sojourner Truth later this year!” said Mayor Gina-Louise Sciarra.
Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) was a nationally known advocate for justice and equality between the races and sexes during the 19th century. She is honored in American history for her compelling autobiography, for her innumerable speeches against slavery and for women’s rights, for her work on behalf of freedmen after the Civil War, and for her ability to keep audiences enthralled through songs and eloquent speeches. Her commitment to women’s suffrage was also legendary. Learn more at: https://sojournertruthmemorial.org/sojourner-truth/her-history/
Sponsored by the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites, the National Votes for Women Trail seeks to recognize and celebrate the enormous diversity of people and groups active in the struggle for women’s suffrage. The Trail consists of two parts: 1) a database with digital map (currently with over 2,100 sites on its database and 2) a program of historical markers for over 200 women’s suffrage sites across the country, funded by the William G. Pomeroy Foundation®’s National Women’s Suffrage Marker Grant Program.
Each state has a coordinator to identify markers and help meet rigorous historical requirements. NVWT welcomes additional suffrage sites; to learn more, please visit NVWT’s Get Involved page. The other Massachusetts suffrage marker sites will include: Maria Baldwin (Cambridge); Anne L. Page (Danvers); Remond Family (Salem); and Sarah E. Wall (Worcester).
“Sojourner Truth undeniably advanced women’s suffrage here in Massachusetts and throughout the United States by harnessing her voice to demand equal rights for Black women,” says Suffrage100MA Founder & President Fredie Kay, the Massachusetts State Coordinator of the National Votes for Women Trail. “After enduring overwhelming trauma and injustice, Truth became a remarkable leader who helped open the suffrage movement beyond the social circles of white middle-class women and quite literally spread the message of racial justice to all who would listen.”
“The National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites is grateful to the Pomeroy Foundation for their generous support and partnership in helping bring alive through the National Women’s Suffrage Marker Grant Program the little known history of the women’s suffrage movement that significantly expanded democracy in the United States,” says NCWHS President Marsha Weinstein. “Communities are commemorating with the Pomeroy Foundation’s historic markers the places where local grassroots activity took place, thereby recognizing the remarkable efforts of the foremothers and forefathers who fought to win women the right to vote which will inspire women to vote today.”
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Suffrage100MA is dedicated to commemorating the the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1920, prohibiting the federal and state governments from denying citizens the right to vote on the basis of sex. Suffrage100MA presents events and activities that highlight the history of the women’s suffrage movement and women’s rights, notably the tireless work and essential contributions of women of color, who were often excluded by white women’s suffrage organizations, and whose role in the suffrage movement has been largely overlooked. Suffrage100MA is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan organization, with over 200 non-profit Partners, committed to recognizing the importance of the 19th Amendment, voting rights and access to voting today. Learn more at www.suffrage100ma.org.
About Sojourner Truth Memorial Committee
Since its establishment in 1992, the mission of the Sojourner Truth Memorial Committee is to keep alive the legacy of Sojourner’s activism in Florence, Massachusetts for abolition of slavery, and equal citizenship rights for all, to honor Sojourner Truth as a symbol of the community’s desire to help eliminate racism and challenge oppression in our society, and to promote her significance in American history, as a visionary for equality and justice for all people. The committee extends educational outreach to schools with partnership grants, scholarship awards, and walking tours. They host an annual community celebration of her life every Memorial Day weekend since her actual birthday is unknown. From 1993-2002, the committee successfully campaigned and raised money for the installation of a Sojourner Truth statue in Florence. The statue was unveiled in 2002 at a memorial park owned and maintained by the City of Northampton. https://sojournertruthmemorial.org
The National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites is a non-profit organization established to support and promote the preservation and interpretation of sites and locales that bear witness to women’s participation in American history. A project of NCWHS, the National Votes for Women Trail consists of a database with digital map and a program of historic markers for over 200 suffragists/women’s suffrage sites. Visit: https://ncwhs.org/votes-for-women-trail/
About the Pomeroy Foundation
The William G. Pomeroy Foundation® is committed to supporting the celebration and preservation of community history; and to raising awareness, supporting research and improving the quality of care for patients and their families who are facing a blood cancer diagnosis. Established by Trustee Bill Pomeroy in 2005 to bring together his two greatest passions, the Pomeroy Foundation is a private, grant-making organization located in Syracuse, N.Y. As the nation’s leading funder of historic roadside markers, the Pomeroy Foundation has awarded nearly 1,700 grants for markers and bronze plaques in 45 states. To learn more about the Pomeroy Foundation, visit wgpfoundation.org.