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California | Racial Justice

Sojourner Truth: Our Living Legacy and Symbolic Sculpture of "Africans in California"
by khubaka, michael harris ( blackagriculture [at] yahoo.com )
Thursday May 9th, 2013 7:38 AM
Random vandalism or targeted hate crime... time will tell. What is clear... today's global religious evangelist community can join an interfaith, intercultural and intergeneration conversation about Slavery in California and offer a new way forward, healing what is hurting our communities in the spiritual tradition of transformation, honoring the legacy of Sojourner Truth and Elizabeth Catlett Mora.
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Random vandalism or targeted hate crime, the damaged statue of Sojourner Truth by renowned sculptor Elizabeth Catlett Mora may mobilize today’s religious evangelist community to lead an interfaith, intercultural and intergeneration conversation about Slavery in California and offer a new way forward, healing what is hurting our communities in the spiritual tradition of transformation.

Isabella Baumfree, who renamed herself Sojourner Truth, was born at the end of the 18th century became a well-known abolitionist against slavery and women's rights activist.

At the end of the 20th century, a commissioned sculpture entitled, “Sojourner” was installed within the Sacramento Convention Center Courtyard by the Sacramento Metropolitan Art Commission, a City of Sacramento and County of Sacramento agency, tasked to utilize tax payer resources to expand art and culture throughout the capitol region of the Great State of California.

Prior to the California Gold Rush and the admission of California into the Union, Spanish authority firmly established a California slave trade with people of African ancestry throughout today’s southwestern United States, long before the independence of the Mexican Republic.
Sojourner Truth, an enslaved African of probable Angolan or Congolese origin, given trade routes of New Amsterdam in maritime commerce of enslaved human beings and stock auction records at Wall Street, New York, NY.

In 1843, Sojourner Truth, simply walked away from bondage answering a call to preach the gospel. She began a long and successful career as a religious evangelist speaking out boldly against America’s peculiar institution and groundbreaking advocacy for women rights, “Ain’t I A Women.”

Africans in California (1840 – 1865) documents the unique journey of people of African ancestry in Alta California, Mexican Terrority, through the US Mexican War, California Gold Rush, California statehood and ratification of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution.
David Walker, Sojourner Truth and Fredrick Douglass with many, many others helped created a vision and plane for a greater measure of freedom for people of African ancestry in the land of Queen Califia.

The ongoing challenge and unique circumstances of the damaged sculpture of Sojourner Truth by Elizabeth Catlett Mora provides a window of opportunity for expanded educational scholarship of the Africana experience throughout the State of California.

This tragedy and opportunity brings to light the instructions of Honorable Mervin Dymally, he left us an agenda. Official documentation and recognition of the contributions by people of African ancestry, Africana Studies, throughout the State of California, was clearly articulated in his vetoed legislation. The assignment and work remains incomplete.

Today, his wisdom is primed for reconsideration in preparation for the Sesquicentennial Celebration of the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution, a global milestone as planning begins this year of Pan Africanism and African Renaissance.

Sojourner Truth, our living legacy of transformational healing through spiritual excellence within the framework of active civic responsibility utilizing local, state, national and international political process was captured and showcased as “Art in Public Places” for the world to see.

The Sacramento Convention Center and Sacramento Metropolitan Art Commission, after a slow start, has created a positive open community restoration process and may even consider expanding “Arts and Agriculture“ as an educational opportunity utilizing the living spiritual energy and example of our elevated Queen Sista Women Warriors, Sojourner Truth and Elizabeth Catlett Mora.