Meet Sojourner Truth at Cumberland County Library
On Saturday, September 14, 2013, the Cumberland County Library in Bridgeton, NJ will host a free public presentation, “Sojourner Truth: Ain’t I a Woman?”. Scholar and actor Dr. Daisy Century of The American Historical Theatre will portray Sojourner Truth in an hour long performance including time for questions and answers from the audience. This free presentation begins at 2 p.m. in the library’s Meeting Room, in the lower level of the library.
The woman known today as Sojourner Truth was born Isabella Baumfree, a slave from a small town north of New York City. She changed hands several times, sold by one brutal owner to another just as harsh. Her life included repeated beatings, rapes and a forced marriage. In 1826, having been promised freedom, but then cruelly denied emancipation, she left her current owners and found her way to the Van Wageners’ home. There she had an epiphany, became a devout Christian, and renamed herself Sojourner Truth, after which she began her travels as a preacher. In 1850, Sojourner began speaking on women’s suffrage, believing the causes of abolition and women’s rights to be intertwined and equally important. Ms. Truth’s most quoted speech, “Ain’t I a Woman?” was delivered at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio. Although there has been much dispute about the words she spoke and the rhythm of her speech, there is no debate about the power and integrity of the speaker or about the impact of the speech and the speaker’s life. Truth also helped recruit black troops during the Civil War for the Union Army, and she worked as a Union nurse.
Dr. Daisy Century recalls the thrill of receiving a standing ovation for her 3rd grade recitation of The Creation and credits this as the beginning of her desire to perform. Trained as a teacher, Dr. Century earned a BA in Biology at Claflin College, a Master’s in Science Education from South Carolina University and a PhD from Temple University, also in Science Education. This naturally talented teacher and actor couples scientific methods with creative imagination in order to discover how the historical characters she interprets would respond to a given situation. An inspiring educator whose students have returned year after year to thank Dr. Century for the difference she has made in their lives, Daisy has continued to inspire through her thoroughly-researched, dramatically intense portrayals. Dr. Century is a published author, writing under the name Emily Nelson, and is an accomplished singer. Daisy has appeared in venues that include the National Defense Organization, Belmont Mansion, National Archives, Sojourner Truth House, Theodore Roosevelt National Historic Site, the Helicoptor Museum, and numerous schools, libraries, museums and historic sites throughout New Jersey.
Funding has been made possible in part by the New Jersey Historical Commission /Department of State and the Cumberland County Board of Chosen Freeholders through the Cumberland County Cultural and Heritage Commission.
Cumberland County Library is located at 800 East Commerce Street in Bridgeton, NJ, 08302. For more information, please call (856) 453-2210, ext. 103.