Sojourner Truth: A Biography

Sojourner Truth: A Biography

Sojourner Truth: A Biography

Sojourner Truth: A Biography

Synopsis

"Sojourner Truth: A Biography" traces this remarkable woman's life from her birth through adulthood and to her death in 1883. Drawing from public pronouncements, personal correspondence, and journalistic accounts of key historical actors, it follows her extraordinary career and sets the events of her life in the larger context of U.S. social and political history.

The years during which Truth lived bore witness to tremendous social and religious ferment in the United States, including, of course, the Civil War. Truth was directly involved, indeed an influential figure, in many contentious issues of the period, from slavery and abolition to religious revivalism, women's rights, temperance, racial reconciliation, and more. Her story serves as a prism through which readers will better understand how these complex matters were adjudicated in 19th-century America. More than that, her life demonstrates what courage, character, and principle can accomplish against all odds.

Excerpt

Once called on very short notice to address an audience, Sojourner Truth was quoted as having said, “Well, chilern, I have come here like the rest of ye, to hear what I have to say.” Having something to say, though, was not an issue for this trumpet of often-uncomfortable truth to the citizenry of the 19th-century United States of America, not even on that occasion. Of the many highly reputed, historically significant orators of the day, Sojourner Truth was among the most prolific—and most quoted. Her ability to entrance crowds with pungent, perceptive analysis of the issues at hand and to regale them with powerful singing, including of her own compositions, placed her in demand among the organizers of the major emerging progressive social advocacy movements of her time.

Yet Truth was not a “speaker for hire.” The lectures and speeches she gave, whether by invitation or at her own scheduling, were, like her singing, nonremunerated, genuine implementations of a life mission, grounded in a deeply convicted religious faith. “Truth burns up error,” was a phrase she once used, not referring to herself but to the message she felt impelled to deliver. It reflected her conviction that her God, the God of her unique vision of Christian faith, had commissioned . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.