The Brooklyn Club


Sojourner Truth

Because of her fearless advocacy and sacrificial acts, it is our vision the Association will continue its research to erect the Sojourner Truth Memorial Statue of this replica - the Striding Sojourner - to stand tall in Cadman Plaza, Brooklyn, NY raising her touch toward the Federal Justice Building. This statue would serve as a constant reminder of Sojourner Truth's legacy, our duty as women leaders, as citizens, and as a people. 

Sojourner Truth is the national Matriarch of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs, Inc. and our recognition and knowledge of Sojourner Truth is important to every club member.

Sojourner Truth was born Isabella Bomefree (also spelled Baumfree in some narratives) about 1797 at Hurler, Uster County New York to James and Betsy who were slaves of Colonel Hardenbergh, upon his death ownership passed to his son, Charles. Isabella was sold four times and spoke low Dutch until she was about 10 years old, yet never learned to read or write.

Sojourner Truth spoke for women’s rights, abolition, prison reform and addressed the Michigan Legislature on capital punishment. She was known for her most famous “Ain’t I A Woman” speech and had staunch influential supporters like Susan B. Anthony, Amy Post and William Garrison.

Sojourner Truth died at her home on College Street in Battle Creek Michigan on November 26, 1883. Her funeral service was attended by over 1000 people.

In 1948, at the National Convention of the NANBPWC, Inc., it was decided that the highest honor bestowed by the NANBPWC, Inc., would be the Sojourner Truth Award, given to a woman who has exemplified outstanding community service and whose life parallels the life and qualities of Sojourner Truth.

National Association of Negro Business and Professionals Women’s Clubs, Inc.


1957                       Nana Robeson
1958                       Catherine Alexander
1959                       Margaret Reed
1960                       Tempe Burge
1961                       Dorothy Bostic
1962                       Maude B. Richardson
1963                       Margaret Waters
1964                       Dorothy Spaulding
1965                       Doris Irish Phillips
1967                       Shirley C. Chisholm
1968                       Iva Wooding

1977                       Louise Lynch                            
1978                      Sarah Parsons Blow
1979                      Marjorie Davis
1980                      Marcella Maxwell
1981                       Award not given

1982                       Thelma O. Golden
1983                       Phyllis McCoy
1984                       Fay Ellis Butler
1985                       Aleathia Boddie
1986                       Jane B. Mapp
1987                       Dorothy Robeson

1988                       Thelma Bing Carroll
1989                       Roberta London

1989                       Jean Black (East New York Club)

1990                        Anna V. Jefferson
1991                        Lillie Key Bailey
1992                       Thelma Glosson
1993                        Ella M. Harry                                   

1994                        Mary Maynard                                    

1995                        Olga R. Cave Wiles                         

1995                        Alyce A. Thomas                              

1996                        Natalie Cave                                     

1997                        Yvonnecris Smith Veal                            

1998                        Audrey Boyce                                       

1999                        Fannie Porter                                                

2000                        Sylvia Whiteside 
2001                        Queenie Wooten
2002                        Joyce Chase
2003                        Ivy Papillon-Juste
2004                        Yvonne J. Graham
2005                        Betty Cox Dixon
2006                        Award not given
2007                        Judge Betty Williams
2008                        Vivian Y. Bright                         

2009                        Vera Winn            

2010                        Dr. Marguerite Casanave Thompson
2011                        Dr. Kim Best