What is truth?
TRUTH is an original American musical inspired by the Life, Words & Spirit of SOJOURNER TRUTH, one of the greatest women in American history.
Based on the gripping autobiography, Narrative of Sojourner Truth, TRUTH resurrects the unique, empowering, uplifting presence of Sojourner Truth as Storyteller. TRUTH recreates Sojourner’s calling: to change people’s minds about equality and injustice by telling her own life story, the TRUTH about slavery. The audience is America, now as always, citizens who have come to the Fairground one fateful Fourth of July to hear Sojourner’s TRUTH and to decide the fate of the nation.
Sojourner Truth was a Northern Slave, unlike her famous compatriots Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, who were enslaved in the South. She grew up in bondage in New York’s Hudson Valley for almost 30 years, and was bought and sold four times. When her freedom was finally promised her and then denied, she walked to freedom. When her little boy was sold illegally down South in retaliation, she sued the white man who sold him, and won her boy’s freedom. Together they moved to New York City, where Sojourner lived and worshipped and became reborn as a traveling Truth-Teller.
A world-renowned speaker, singer, homespun preacher and champion of emancipation, Sojourner was also one of the very first champions of women’s rights in America. Her most famous speech, “Ain’t I A Woman"?” (or “Aren’t I A Woman?”) was given at a women’s rights convention in 1851. Sojourner met with President Lincoln in the White House, interacted with many leading figures of her time, and was lauded by Harriet Beecher Stowe, who said Sojourner had the most remarkable “presence” of anyone she’d ever met. Sojourner lived through the Civil War and saw the proclaimed “end of slavery” well before she died. Because her children were stolen from her by slavery, she adopted her people as her charge. She spent her later years caring for the sick, working for the Freedmen, advocating for the freed slaves to be given land out west.
Sojourner knew the nation had a long way yet to go.
And here we are.
In an age of fake news, national division and simmering racial, class and gender-based tensions, TRUTH is a revivifying balm for the heart and soul of America. Speaking and singing TRUTH to power, Sojourner takes the stage at our current crossroads of crisis and decision, to Proclaim Liberty once again throughout the land. Sojourner is a towering woman of Faith, an American Gandhi, sent to heal the nation of its afflictions. TRUTH is a living, breathing testament of her Faith in action, making it a musical for America now, our urgent TRUTH time.
With an uplifting, moving and rousing score, covering a wide range of American musical theater heritage, TRUTH stirs the soul and awakens the senses by making a Truthful joyful noise.
TRUTH speaks to the heart of what it means to be alive, to be a woman, to be determined, to be free. TRUTH asks, “What is true Justice and Liberty if not for everyone? How will it truly come to be in America?”
“What will it take to truly embody the Holy Spirit of Love & Mercy, for all our brothers and sisters, all our fellow beings?”
The answer: Let us Light the Flame of Freedom… with “TRUTH, the whole TRUTH, and nothin’ but Sojourner TRUTH.”
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TRUTH the Musical was created by KENI FINE.
TRUTH was presented at THEARC Theater Center in Washington DC in 2015 as a joint production of THEARC, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, and Fineheart Productions.
Songs from TRUTH - “Ain’t I A Woman?” & “Mama’s Goin To Freedom” - were presented at the United Nations in a special program on “Women & Human Rights” for the 60th Anniversary of the International Declaration of Human Rights.
It’s about time somebody told it