Yonkers-based artist unveils sculpture of anti-slavery, women's rights champion Sojourner Truth

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Sojourner Truth was born into slavery in Ulster County, but rose above her humble beginnings to become a major force in the anti-slavery movement and women's rights. Now, a Yonkers-based artist is paying homage to her.

Yonkers-based sculptor Vinnie Bagwell was commissioned by the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to create a piece that will stand at the Welcome Center entrance for the Walk Over the Hudson.

What was created was a 7-foot likeness of Truth to go on the world's longest pedestrian bridge in Poughkeepsie. For now, a preview of it was shown at the artist's home in Yonkers.

Cory McLiechey was a special guest at the unveiling -- he is Truth's sixth-generation grandson, who made the trip from Michigan for the event.

"I would want the world to know that she loved humanity and believed that everybody deserved equal rights and a fair share," says McLiechey.

The clay version of Truth is just the beginning of the statue's journey. The next phase is to create the mold, then cast a wax sculpture, refine it and then create it in bronze.

 

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