Sojourner went on to meet presidents Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses Grant. She developed a friendship with fellow human rights activist Harriet Tubman. She tried to vote on two occasions, but was turned away both times.
Why has a work by the African-American artist Fred Wilson -- an installation piece that riffs on the topic by assembling authentic slave shackles, slave chains and Revolutionary-era icons -- been such a sore point with critics? We must have struck a raw nerve.
I visited the Sojourner Truth Academy for ninth-graders on Friday, June 18. When I asked a student who gave me a tour of the building what the best part of school was for him, he told me: "the teachers... but they're all leaving."