Sojourner Truth was a civil rights pioneer at a time when most black Americans still were held in bondage before the Civil War. She fought not just for civil rights under the law, but for basic social change - for recognition that people of color were human beings the same as whites.
It is upsetting to the overwhelming majority of Americans today to think that so many of our ancestors did not view blacks as equals.
Last week, First Lady Michelle Obama participated in the unveiling of a statue of Truth at the U.S. Capitol. Truth's is the first statue of a black woman to be displayed at the Capitol. There are plans to place one of Rosa Parks there.
No doubt some people who still harbor bigotry in their hearts will view statues of Truth, Parks and other civil rights pioneers as a bow to political correctness. They are wrong.
Recognition of what people such as Truth, Parks, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman - and hundreds of other black heroes and heroines - did is important. They helped move our nation forward toward the ideal all Americans should hold dear. It is important, not just appropriate, that they be honored.