If you find your time or attention too short for books, try listening to some online podcasts. One of my favorites is “Stuff You Missed In History Class”. The hosts of the podcast research and share interesting historical facts that didn’t make it into traditional textbooks. History is so much more interesting when it’s just two people talking about what they learned about someone, instead of a dry, boring account in school-books. You can download podcasts to your smart-phone, put the phone in your pocket, and learn a lot while you’re working around the house, driving, or walking.
Today I listened to podcasts about Sojourner Truth, the famous slave who became a preacher and an advocate for the rights of black Americans. Some cool things I learned about her:
-Her first language was Dutch, as she was owned by a Dutch slave-owner.
-In 1827, she started having religious visions and became a preacher.
-She was part of two different communes, one called “The Kingdom” in 1933, and the other a utopian group that operated a silk factory.
-She got to meet President Lincoln in 1864, although when she later tried to attend his second term inauguration ceremony, she was turned away because she was black.
-After the Civil War ended and all slaves were freed, she helped many field slaves to adjust to freedom and learn to live independently.
-She was also a care-taker in the hospital after the war was over.
-Rosa Parks was not the first person to defy the rules of segregation on public transportation. Sojourner would get on “white” streetcars and stay seated as long as possible before being thrown off.
During the 1850s, she went on a 22-state lecture tour, speaking about the importance of equality among the races, women’s rights, religion and politics.
-Her biography is the only written account of an enslaved person in Dutch New York.
Her last recorded words were: “Be a follower of Jesus.”
The great thing about podcasts is that it gives you a little taste of whatever they are talking about, and then you can decide if you want to delve deeper into that person’s history.