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First lady unveils statue of abolitionist

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (L), First Lady Michelle Obama (2nd-L), Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D-NY) (2nd-R) and Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) participate in the unveiling of a bust of abolitionist and suffragist Sojourner Truth in the Capitol Visitors Center in Washington on April 28, 2009. (UPI Photo/Kevin Dietsch) | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/20836a883c6f28e570384870bd1ae63a/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (L), First Lady Michelle Obama (2nd-L), Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D-NY) (2nd-R) and Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) participate in the unveiling of a bust of abolitionist and suffragist Sojourner Truth in the Capitol Visitors Center in Washington on April 28, 2009. (UPI Photo/Kevin Dietsch) | License Photo

WASHINGTON, April 28 (UPI) -- Michelle Obama unveiled a statue of Sojourner Truth in the U.S. Capitol Tuesday, saying she and others are standing on the shoulders of the abolitionist.

Truth, who chose her own name after she was freed from slavery, is the first black woman to have a statue in the Capitol. A crusader for the rights of women as well as for abolition of slavery, she was born a slave in upstate New York and became free as an adult when the state ended slavery.

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Obama called Truth an "outspoken, tell-it-like-it-is kind of woman." The first lady quoted her husband as saying that both of them are standing on her shoulders.

"And just as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott would be pleased to know that we have a woman serving as the speaker of the House of Representatives, I hope that Sojourner Truth would be proud to see me, a descendant of slaves, serving as the first lady of the United States of America," Obama said. "So I am proud to be here. I am proud to be able to stand here on this day with this dedication."

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