Sojourner Truth: A Life, a Symbol

Front Cover
W. W. Norton & Company, 1997 - Biography & Autobiography - 370 pages
14 Reviews
Sojourner Truth first gained prominence at an 1851 Akron, Ohio, women's rights conference, saying, "Dat man over dar say dat woman needs to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches. . . . Nobody eber helps me into carriages, or ober mud-puddles . . . and ar'n't I a woman?"

Sojourner Truth: ex-slave and fiery abolitionist, figure of imposing physique, riveting preacher and spellbinding singer who dazzled listeners with her wit and originality. Straight-talking and unsentimental, Truth became a national symbol for strong black women--indeed, for all strong women. Like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, she is regarded as a radical of immense and enduring influence; yet, unlike them, what is remembered of her consists more of myth than of personality.

Now, in a masterful blend of scholarship and sympathetic understanding, eminent black historian Nell Irvin Painter goes beyond the myths, words, and photographs to uncover the life of a complex woman who was born into slavery and died a legend. Inspired by religion, Truth transformed herself from a domestic servant named Isabella into an itinerant pentecostal preacher; her words of empowerment have inspired black women and poor people the world over to this day. As an abolitionist and a feminist, Truth defied the notion that slaves were male and women were white, expounding a fact that still bears repeating: among blacks there are women; among women, there are blacks.

No one who heard her speak ever forgot Sojourner Truth, the power and pathos of her voice, and the intelligence of her message. No one who reads Painter's groundbreaking biography will forget this landmark figure and the story of her courageous life.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4
4 stars
7
3 stars
2
2 stars
0
1 star
1

Review: Sojourner Truth: A Life, a Symbol

User Review  - Bev - Goodreads

One reason I appreciated this book is because of the research the author did to determine what was true (about Truth!) and what was exaggeration and fiction. Also how biases kept certain parts of ... Read full review

Review: Sojourner Truth: A Life, a Symbol

User Review  - Winter Rose - Goodreads

Illuminating & Compelling! An Incredible Biography! Read full review

Contents

II
3
III
11
IV
21
V
26
VI
32
VII
38
VIII
48
IX
62
XVIII
151
XIX
164
XX
179
XXI
185
XXII
200
XXIII
209
XXIV
220
XXV
234

X
79
XI
88
XII
96
XIII
103
XIV
113
XV
121
XVI
132
XVII
143
XXVI
247
XXVII
258
XXVIII
281
XXIX
289
XXX
293
XXXI
345
XXXII
349
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1997)

Nell Irvin Painter is the award-winning author of many books, including Sojourner Truth, Southern History Across the Color Line, Creating Black Americans, The History of White People, and Standing at Armageddon. She is currently the Edwards Professor of American History, Emerita, at Princeton University and lives in Newark, New Jersey, and the Adirondacks.

Bibliographic information