Sojourner Truth, an abolitionist and women's rights activist, was born into slavery but had escaped with her daughter, later going to court to obtain her son's freedom and becoming the first black woman to win a case of that nature. In 1851, she gave a speech at a women's convention in Akron, Ohio on gender inequality that went on to become a staple of feminist thought, "Ain't I a Woman."
"That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere," she said. "Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud puddles, or gives me any best place! But ain’t a woman? Look at me. Look at my arm. I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman?"