Glorying in Tribulation: The Lifework of Sojourner Truth

By Erlene Stetson; Linda David | Go to book overview

1
Speaking of Shadows

I sell the shadow to support the substance.

Sojourner Truth1

On the first day of October 1865 Sojourner Truth dictated a letter from Washington, D.C. to her friend Amy Post in Rochester, New York.

I have heard nothing from my children for a long time, neither from my grandchildren since they left me. I take this occasion to inquire after their whereabouts and health, as well as your own prosperity, and to inform you of my own. I spent over six months at Arlington Heigths [sic], called the Freedmen's village, and served there as counciller for my people, acceptably to the good but not at all times to those who desire nothing higher than the lowest and the vilest of habits. For you know I must be faithful Sojourner everywhere.

Six months after the formal ending of the Civil War, Truth felt that the nation was still wandering like the Israelites in the wilderness with no promised land in sight.

I have generally received the kindest attention from those in Authority even to the President. But I see dark spots still in the great cloud that leads us by day, and occasional angry flashes in the pillar of fire that guides through this long dark night. Yet my comfort in all this is in the thought that God rules.

The dark spots by day were easy enough to account for in her constant confrontation with the racism that persisted after the abolition of slavery.

-1-

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Glorying in Tribulation: The Lifework of Sojourner Truth
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • One - Speaking of Shadows 1
  • Notes 24
  • Two - The Country of the Slave 29
  • Notes 51
  • Three - The Claims of Human Brotherhood 57
  • Notes 81
  • Four - Sojourners 87
  • Notes 120
  • Five - I Saw the Wheat Holding Up Its Head 129
  • Notes 156
  • Six - Harvest Time for the Black Man, and Seed-Sowing Time for Woman: Nancy Works in the Cotton Field 163
  • Notes 194
  • Appendices 201
  • Bibliography 219
  • Index 235
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