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The Narrative of Sojourner Truth


The Narrative of Sojourner Truth


“Ain't I a Woman?”

The Narrative of Sojourner Truth, first published in 1850, offers an extraordinarily authoritative glimpse into the little-documented world of Northern slavery.

Though she was born into slavery and subjected to physical and sexual abuse by her owners, Sojourner Truth came to represent the power of individual strength and perseverance.

Truth narrates her life as a slave in rural New York, the separation from her family, her religious conversion, and her life as a traveling preacher during the 1840s.

She championed the disadvantaged—black in the South, women in the North—yet spent much of her free life with middle-class whites, who supported her, yet never failed to remind her that she was a second class citizen.

A spellbinding orator and prophet, Truth mesmerized audiences with her stories of life in bondage and with her moving renditions of Methodist hymns and her own songs.

This inspiring account of a black woman's struggles for racial equality is essential reading for all students of American history, as well as for those interested in the continuing quest for equality of opportunity.

SOJOURNER TRUTH (1797-1883) was an American abolitionist and women's rights activist who dedicated her life to sharing her heartrending life story so others might be inspired to take up the fight for civil rights. Born into slavery, her best-known speech, Ain't I a Woman? was delivered in 1851 at the Ohio Women's Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio. One of the most famous and admired African-American women in U.S. history, Sojourner Truth sang, preached, and debated at camp meetings across the country, led by her devotion to the antislavery movement and her ardent pursuit of women's rights. Equal parts painful and powerful, Her Narrative sheds light on an important leader and one of the most troubling chapters of United States history.

“A strange compound of wit and wisdom, wild enthusiasm, and flint-like common sense.”

Frederick Douglass


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