As reported in Almanac Weekly last summer, Hudson Valley heroine Sojourner Truth’s image is being added to a 15-foot-tall bronze statue planned for the Central Park Mall that was originally designed only to include Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton (https://bit.ly/3bKYiwt). A statue of Truth by herself, also in bronze and seven feet high, is soon to be erected near the Highland entrance to Walkway over the Hudson. The sculptors creating both – Meredith Bergmann and Vinnie Bagwell, respectively – will give a joint slide presentation and talk about their research into Sojourner Truth’s life, their monumental artworks and the power of art to tell our stories this Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Old Dutch Church in Kingston.
A reception will follow at 5 p.m., which is good, because a lot of the audience will likely be in need of refreshments after participating in an energetic highlight of local Black History Month celebrations: the second annual Sojourner Truth Life Walk from Port Ewen to Kingston. Marchers will congregate at Dietz Stadium at 11 a.m. to catch a free bus to the starting point of the walk: the site in downtown Port Ewen where a tavern once stood, in which Truth worked as a young girl, still a slave, and where New Paltz sculptor Trina Greene’s statue of her now stands. As the group treks back across the Rondout into Kingston, there will be brief pit stops with readings highlighting different aspects of the great abolitionist, suffragist and orator’s career. A trolley will be available for those who want to witness the events but are unable to walk the full route, which totals about 3.5 miles.
Once back in the Stockade District, actress/minister Deborah Zuill will give a live in-person reenactment of Truth’s famous “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech, which Zuill has been performing annually at Stone House Day in Hurley for the past two decades. Bergmann and Bagwell’s presentation will follow.
Sojourner Truth Life Walk
Saturday, Feb. 22, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Shuttle bus: Dietz Stadium
170 North Front St., Kingston
Walk begins: Sojourner Truth Park
Salem St./Rt. 9W, Port Ewen
Bergmann/Bagwell talk Old Dutch Church
272 Wall St., Kingston