Skip to main content



Sojourner Truth: One of our forgotten 'Mothers'.

  Today is the anniversary of the death of the woman we know as Sojourner Truth. She was born as Isabelle ‘Belle’ Baumfree in New York State. Her parents were slaves and her first language was Dutch. She was sold at the age of nine with a flock of sheep to another owner who ill-treated her. She was sold again, at least twice, finally to an owner who raped her, as was common practice at the time. As a result she gave birth to two children – a boy who died in childhood and a girl called Diana. The man she loved, also a slave, was savagely beaten by his owner when they were discovered together and he died shortly afterwards. Marriage to another slave produced three children, before ‘Belle’ ‘walked away’ in her words, with her youngest child, and was taken in by an abolitionist family in New York, the Van Wagenens, who kept her until the Emancipation Act became law and she could be officially freed.             Meanwhile her previous owner had sold her son Peter at the age of five to a fam

Latest posts

Photoshopping the Dead

Airmail: Writing Letters in a Time of Pandemic

Tuesday Poem: Debasish Lahiri, An Unsent Letter, (for Paul Celan)

Reading My Mother: 50 elderly sheep and a lame horse

Tuesday Poem: And Then We Saw The Daughter of the Minotaur, Bob Beagrie

Meet the Author: Meg Pokrass and Angela Readman talk Flash

Tuesday Poem: Anna Akhmatova - Requiem

Reading My Mother: Tom's Garden

Tuesday Poem: Tomas Transtromer, Silence

Beyond the Wall