Sojourner Truth, Early Social Media Influencer

Although it is little-remembered these days, the famous anti-slavery and women's rights crusader was an early, and very astute, user of social media-style influence to promote her causes.


Today's post recalls one of the lesser-known aspects of Sojourner Truth's crusade for justice: her use of cartes de visite (business/professional card) with a caption, her name, and a copyright: “I Sell the Shadow to Support the Substance" to raise funds. The images suggest the range of different images/editions of the postcards she created.

How Sojourner Truth Used Photography to Help End Slavery - Sojourner Truth used a form of social media before the concept even existed. Her photo cards were inexpensive, small, and easy to pass from hand to hand -- tailor-made for reaching a mass audience.
How Early Photographs Reveal the Indomitable Spirit of Abolitionist Sojourner Truth - A story prepared by the National Museum of African American History and Culture including the detailed backstory on the photos.
Sojourner Truth - Biographical slideshow created by the National Women's History Museum.