Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) was one of America’s greatest heroines. Born into slavery in New York, she became a powerful voice for abolition and women’s rights. Her most famous speech—“Ain’t I A Woman?”—was delivered at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in 1851. For the next 30 years she remained a key participant in the national debate over abolition, voting rights, and women’s equality.

For the costume, here are the pieces we suggest, from left to right:

1. Penelope dress from Recollections. This is made to order in a black and white calico that reads as gray.
2. White bonnet. This particular one (style 2) looks pretty similar to the sun bonnet Sojourner wore. You could also do a white head wrap.
3. Victorian lace-up boots.
4. White neckerchief. The old Quaker kerchief lives on as chef’s wear! It’s just a rectangle of crisp linen, about 30 x 40 inches, so if you have some old sheets or pillowcases lying around, you can make one yourself. Wrap it around your neck and cross the ends over in front, then secure it with a safety pin.
5. White shawl with fringe. This is a beautiful shawl and the price is great.
6. Rectangular eyeglasses. These wire frame spectacles are a reasonably good match for the ones Sojourner wore.


Other costumes in this category: Notable Women