Sojourner Truth Statue to be Exhibited in Kingston

NEW PALTZ – SUNY New Paltz President Darrell P. Wheeler and Kingston Mayor Steve Noble have announced that “Sojourner Truth: First Step to Freedom, 1826,” a bronze statue of the 19th century civil rights activist with deep Hudson Valley roots, will be temporarily exhibited at Kingston City Hall later this year, and then a site in Newburgh that will be named at a later date, before being installed permanently on the SUNY New Paltz campus in 2026.

The statue, created by Ulster County artist Trina Greene, depicts Truth in the year during which she escaped enslavement, a key pivot point in a life devoted to historic and effective advocacy for abolition, temperance and women’s rights.

The agreement between the University and regional partners will create opportunities for observation and reflection on Truth’s legacy, in regional communities with deep connections to her life and work.

“This plan recognizes Truth’s significance to communities across the Hudson Valley, and ultimately resolves her presence on our campus,” said SUNY New Paltz President Darrell P. Wheeler. “This journey honors Sojourner Truth’s chosen name. As an itinerate 18th century preacher, abolitionist, feminist and mother, Sojourner Truth traveled across the country sharing her truth. We also honor her commitment to education by eventually installing the sculpture at an institution of higher learning.”

“In recent years, Kingston has become more connected to Sojourner Truth’s legacy, and to be able to have her statue on temporary display here in Kingston’s City Hall is both an honor and a great opportunity for the public to continue its educational journey,” said City of Kingston Mayor Steve Noble. “Sojourner Truth fought for justice and equality, tenets that we strive to uphold at City Hall each and every day. We will be proud to have this work of art depicting a true hero here in our care. I want to thank Dr. Wheeler and the SUNY New Paltz community for their willingness to share this privilege with us.”

Community and educational events are being planned in coordination with the statue exhibitions, and more details about those events will be shared soon.

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