While there were several heroes of justice that attempted great strides to eliminate racial and gender injustices during the late 1900’s I will be elaborating on two, David Walker and Sojourner Truth. Though Walker and Truth differ in gender they both were abolitionist and fought for the equal rights of man. These two heroes made history through their hard work, determination they put into their narratives and speeches. I will show how David Walkers “Appeal” and Sojourner Truth’s “Ar’n’t I a Woman” in similar ways helped make America what it is today.
David Walker was famous for his pamphlet “Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World” which called for the emancipation of slaves and defended violent rebellion as a means for slaves to gain their freedom if necessary. “Walker’s prophetic and liberatory language was a forerunner of other nineteenth-century freedom fighters like Sojourner Truth, Henry Highland Garnet, and Frederick Douglass who also used their mastery of the English language to challenge the political and moral constructs of American slavery.” (Mitchell) The appeal is structure off the U.S. Constitution and that is not surprising since the Constitution echoes the Declaration of Independence, which is what Walker was fighting for “Independence” for all man. Walker uses biblical theology to support how God made all creatures, so therefore all men are equal “and who can dispense with prejudice long enough to admit that we are men, notwithstanding our improminent noses and woolly heads, and believe that we feel for our fathers, mothers, wives and children, as well as the whites do for theirs.”. (page 230) Walker used several examples from the bible to show how God was a just God and didn’t want his people suffering and wouldn’t let his people suffer forever under their oppressors. “I refer you in the first place to the children of Jacob, or of Israel in Egypt, under Pharaoh and his people” and most of us know how that story ended. (page 232) The Lords people were eventually revolted and got away from Pharaoh after a lot of illness and pain from God came to Pharaoh. Walker’s goal was to instill pride in the black readers of “Appeal” and give them hope that change would someday come for them.
Sojourner Truth was a famed African-American abolitionist, like Walker, and a women's rights activist. Truth originally “earned frame for ability to deliver folksy as well as fiery speeches that denounced slavery.” (page 245) She was committed to the cause of abolishing slavery and worked on several civil rights fronts. In 1851 Sojourner Truth took to the podium at a women’s right convention to address a hostile audience of hecklers provoked by the clergy and the press. “Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, authors of the History of Woman Suffrage, reported: “Gentlemen and ladies alike who attempted to speak were interrupted by shouts, hisses, stamping, cheers, rude remarks and all manner of noisy demonstration.” (Lipscomb) Even though Truth brought with her the two most hated elements during that time, being black and a woman, she was able to open her mouth and speak over all the insults cast upon her color and sex. Truth showed no fear as she stood before her oppressors and made them listen to what she had to say. In her speech she stated “I have as much muscle as any man, and can do as much work as any man. I have plowed and reaped and husked and chopped and mowed, and can any man do more than that?” (page 247) Truth, being able to identify with all these “manly” jobs as a woman I think helped enhances the effectiveness of what she was saying to her audience. She wanted her audience to realize that women, even African American women, were brave, strong and worthy of respect and rights. “Several men argued that men were superior because Christ was a man and because Eve, a woman, caused the expulsion of humankind from Paradise”. (overview) “And how came Jesus into the world?” then to answer her