Release Date: August 1st 2005
Published by: Barnes & Noble Classics
Contributors: Imani Perry
Narrative of Sojourner Truth, by Sojourner Truth, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. The introduction to this edition of Narrative of Sojourner Truth is written by Professor Imani Perry.
At a time when most black women were slaves or servants and even white women were expected to sit quietly in the corner, Sojourner Truth transformed herself from a runaway slave to a well-known campaigner for abolition and women’s rights. Born a slave in New York State around 1797 and given the name Isabella by her owner, she had already fled to freedom when New York’s 1827 anti-slavery law officially emancipated her. Deeply religious, she adopted the name Sojourner Truth and became a traveling lay preacher and lecturer. Though she was illiterate, her extraordinary speaking skills electrified audiences and brought her widespread fame.
Sojourner Truth dictated her Narrative to fellow feminist and abolitionist, Olive Gilbert. First published in 1850, it reveals the striking differences between slavery in the North and in the South. For example, while hideous conditions could be found in either region, Northern slaves were much more isolated from other African-Americans, and therefore more psychologically dependent upon their masters.
An essential document of American history, Narrative of Sojourner Truth swirls with the fiery insights of this complex, accomplished, and magnetic woman, a preacher and a suffragist, and one of our most consummately human figures.