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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. Born into slavery in 1797, Truth fled from bondage some 30 years later to become a powerful figure in the progressive movements rOne 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. Born into slavery in 1797, Truth fled from bondage some 30 years later to become a powerful figure in the progressive movements reshaping American society.This remarkable narrative, first published in 1850, offers a rare glimpse into the little-documented world of Northern slavery. Truth recounts her life as a slave in rural New York, her separation from her family, her religious conversion, and her life as a traveling preacher during the 1840s. She also describes her work as a social reformer, counselor of former slaves, and sponsor of a black migration to the West.A spellbinding orator and implacable prophet, Truth mesmerized audiences with her tales of life in bondage and with her moving renditions of Methodist hymns and her own songs. Frederick Douglass described her message as a "strange compound of wit and wisdom, of wild enthusiasm, and flint-like common sense." This inspiring account of a black woman's struggles for racial and sexual equality is essential reading for students of American history, as well as for those interested in the continuing quest for equality of opportunity....

Title : Narrative of Sojourner Truth
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ISBN : 11637339
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 387 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Narrative of Sojourner Truth Reviews

  • Michael
    2019-02-14 01:30

    Beautifully written and a pleasure to read even though the truth it tells is difficult to admit. This should be required reading in junior high or middle school as it is called in some parts of the U.S.A. History is often fiction by the time it rests in the ears and mind of a student. History is told by the winner, distorted by religion, fabricated by governments, lost in translation and misplaced in forgotten time capsules. Slavery stripped human beings of their hope, their loved ones, their pride, and their desire to achieve. Slavery forced the will of the strong over the weak and kept the slave weak by keeping them ignorant. The good news is there were some who realized the evil that slavery was and fought to abolish the slave trade and emancipate the millions of dark skinned human beasts of burden. The great injustice occurred when after emancipation there was little assistance and education available to guide the suddenly free through the society they were thrust into. Many now were free to starve to death. This book gives us a peek at a way of life we could never, thankfully, know.......Michael

  • Linda
    2019-01-27 04:31

    Sometimes reading a book isn’t about pleasure, but rather a way to show respect for someone life, struggle or ideas. Sojourner Truth deserves to have her story read. She was a bold woman who lived with fearless integrity. Sojourner Truth's life is very interesting, but that is about the only thing that I enjoyed about this book. I didn’t like Gilbert’s constant interjections. I have a children’s bible written in this style (which by the way I love). Gilbert presents a situation and then she adds in a personal commentary something like: “imagine how you would feel if this had happened to you.” Instead of depending on her ability to paint the picture through her words and trust her audience, she chooses to tell the reader explicitly what to think. While that style might be fine for kids, it is disrespectful to an adult reader. If she wants to lead me around by the nose, she needs to use a little more finesse.This is really a two star book, in my opinion, but I am giving it three, because I don’t want to discourage anyone from picking it up. Though this is far from Sojourner Truth's own words it is probably the closest we can get.

  • John
    2019-02-16 02:31

    What an inspiring individual! She had courage, compassion and a compelling drive to get things done.A great story...all the greater because it is true.There is a special place in heaven reserved for people like Sojourner Truth.

  • Kavita
    2019-02-08 03:35

    I took this to be an actual memoir of Sojourner Truth. I had thought she did a lot of interesting things in her life and fought back at the system. Turns out she was even bigger than that. Sojourner Truth alias Isabella van Wagenen personally knew God. She met with Him in shady nooks and demanded things from Him. And God always, always, always obeyed Isabella's orders. So there you go! That's the gist of this book.If you wanted to know more about Isabella's life, this book is not the book for you. On the other hand, if you want a long, boring, annoying sermon about how you are a big sinner and how you must cast aside slavery if you want to be saved, then you have come to the correct place. Oh, and in case this is exactly what you do want, don't miss the chapter on The Matthias Imposture. It's a hilarious story about one fanatic murdering another fanatic. You begin reading this book in all eager anticipation and suddenly God hits you - again and again and again. And then there are a couple of sentences and you think things are picking and then God hits you again and drones on for many pages. And then you get this gem: There are some hard things that crossed Isabella's life while in slavery, that she has no desire to publish, for various reasons. And apparently these 'some things' are basically 'everything other than religion'.There you go, then! Sojourner Truth was a conwoman, selling evangelism posing as a memoir. Or maybe it was Olive Gilbert (who wrote the actual book and is patronising as hell) who was the conman. Whatever, this book is not worth the paper it's printed on. Her speech 'Ain't I a Woman' is legendary. But there really is no mention of anything interesting in this book. Skip it. Scrap it. Find a decent biography by a decent biographer. An atheist one, if possible!

  • Samantha Williams
    2019-02-06 01:25

    The book didn't really appeal to me that much, because I was having authenticity issues with the book. It was wrote by Sojourner herself, it was wrote by someone else, transcribing Sojourner's words directly. So that for me caused a block to go up, just because Sojourner was black and lived during a time where blacks were considered merchandise. She was a slave. I kept thinking what if the writer added words to Sojourner's, because she thought Sojourner was indeed unable and ignorant to write her own letters. Maybe the end product was what the writer wanted and not what Sojourner wanted. Maybe the writer couldn't communicate the ideas and culture of Sojourner correctly, so she did her best. This was in my head in reading the narrative, so it was very hard for me to get into the read. I do think everyone should read the piece, because it does show you how very different slavery was in the North from the South, as well as, give insight to the conditions of freed slaves in the North.

  • Cindy
    2019-02-16 02:18

    Sojourner Truth had to be one of the most charismatic people ever to walk the Earth.* Charisma is hard to convey in any mode that's not face-to-face. This book might be as close to capturing raw charisma as I have ever seen. She stands out even in an era of incredibly charismatic people. My edition had both The Narrative of Sojourner Truth, and the Book of Life. The latter was Sojourner's scrapbook and autograph book she carried around as she traveled preaching and telling her story. My reaction to her Narrative is that it is an absolute 5-star read. Holy guacamole, what this woman endured! Multiple things surprised me. First, it's not told in Sojourner Truth's voice. She remained unable to read or write her whole life, and relied on a friend to retell her story. That woman was Olive Gilbert. Gilbert injects quite a bit of her own commentary on both Truth and the abolitionist movement. This makes it quite difficult to ascertain what were Truth's own words, and what were manipulated by Gilbert. Second, Truth grew up in a Low Dutch farm in New York, and didn't learn to speak English until she was 10. She never had a formal education, and didn't even hear a preacher until she claimed her own emancipation in 1826.^ Despite all this, she wandered the eastern seaboard (and later beyond) preaching about God, Jesus and plight of enslaved peoples by relating her own story. Third, her story doesn't dwell on the physical hardships and punishments she endured while a slave. In fact, she only hints at most of them. Yet the slave part of her story is horrific.On to the Book of Life - I would give it 3-stars for putting Truth's Narrative into context and continuing her story to the end of her life. This is mostly newspaper clippings telling about how Sojourner Truth came to speak at this church, or that meeting, and how she had everyone in rapture with her stories and songs. Those parts get extremely repetitious, but it's amazing to see how many places she traveled and how she was warmly welcomed. Perhaps even more amazing is the number (not all) that describe her in non-racial tones. They almost all mention her race, but only a few tack on "...for her race" when they mention that she is forceful, commanding, impressive, etc.. Considering the times, she transcended many racial lines. Truth's Book of Life also contains letters and signatures from famous people - including Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S Grant, Frederick Douglass and Susan B Anthony.Perhaps most fascinating between the two - her Narrative and The Book of Life - is the discrepancies in her personal story. The story of her life partially evolved as she traveled around retelling the narrative. Most likely, though, is that it was variations in the retelling. The big stand-out is Harriet Beecher Stowe's 1863 article in the Atlantic Monthly, titled: "Libyan Sibyl". This article not only propelled Truth into nation-wide fame, but gave her a nickname that she she grew tired of. Stowe takes many liberties in the article, including quoting Truth in a Southern US slave dialect that Truth never had. (She had a slightly Dutch accent, and often described as a "peculiar" way of speech.) What's worse, Stowe claimed Truth was dead, when in fact she went on to live another 20 years. Perhaps all those changes developed the persona of Sojourner Truth and aided in her popularity? According to the editor of my edition, Truth herself might have been guilty of perpetuating un-truths, in order to present a persuasive argument and be the larger-than-life character of Sojourner Truth.One of the funniest, most witty anecdotes about Truth goes something like this: Truth was speaking in front of a large meeting that contained friends and foes alike. There were grumblings in the audience that she wasn't who she claimed to be -- that in fact, she was a man. Truth was six feet tall, very muscular, wore her short hair under a Quaker cap, and was by all accounts an imposing presence with a booming voice. When she heard the accusations, she said (paraphrasing the paraphrasing): "You think I'm a man? Let me tell you something. I suckled many white babes at my breasts, often to the neglect of my own children. And those white children turned into finer men than you could ever be!" She then proceeded to whip our her bare breast and said: "Suck this!"Sojourner Truth was awesome.*(If there are humans hanging out somewhere else in the Universe, they are just boring sacks of carbon. Thanks a lot for not contacting us. Losers.)^(Seriously, her emancipation is a story you need to read for yourself. It shows the kind of woman she was at heart.)

  • Katherine
    2019-02-17 01:05

    Powerful, heart-breaking, uplifting. Historically fascinating because many newspaper accounts, meeting notices and personal greetings are excerpted from her "Book of Life", a kind of scrapbook/autograph book she carried with her on her travels. Abraham Lincoln, Emily Dickinson, Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, Ulysses S. Grant all signed it during her lifetime. My only regret about her narrative is that the persons to whom she dictated her life story chose, for the most part, to edit her words/vernacular/dialect into "proper" (more palatable?) English. The few passages that are left unedited (her exact words and phraseology) are a thousand times more powerful. Incredible book. A must-read.

  • mis fit
    2019-02-01 06:17

    If you want to read something that is going to make your troubles seem pretty damn small and petty, this is a good choice. Sojourner Truth's life was hard, and this narrative provides many insights into the horrors of slavery. I am definitely interested in reading more about her life and her work.

  • Cynthia Egbert
    2019-02-07 05:31

    "There was no place where God was not." I don't even know where to begin to express how I feel about this woman and what she stood for and the conscious decision she made to accomplish so much with her life. She stands as one of my pinnacle heroes. The entire narrative is one huge quotation so I won't try and lay out all of the places I have marked in my copy of this narrative. But I do want to share one passage that lights me up every time I read it."Previous to these exercises of mind, she heard Jesus mentioned in reading or speaking, but had received from what she heard no impression that he was any other than an eminent man, like a Washington or a Lafayette. Now he appeared to her delighted mental vision as so mild, so good, and so every way lovely, and he loved her so much! And, how strange that he had always loved her, and she had never known it! And how great a blessing he conferred, in that he should stand between her and God! And God was no longer a terror and a dread to her."

  • Sarah W.
    2019-02-01 01:32

    This book was very good. It had a lot of details about her life. Over all, I thought this book was good!

  • Pink
    2019-02-07 02:21

    I'd like to read the real story written by Sojourner Truth please. Without any teasing about things that were left out to protect people's identities. I could also do without the religious sermonising. Apart from that it's a fine example of slave narratives that were white washed for people's palates.

  • Phil Jensen
    2019-02-18 06:27

    Buyer beware! Sojourner Truth did not actually write this book. A woman named Olive Gilbert wrote it after having some conversations with Truth. The question you have to ask yourself is: How interested are you in Olive Gilbert? Here's a sample of her prose:"We will now turn from the outward and temporal to the inward and spiritual life of our subject." (p. 39)Everything wrong with the book is in that sentence. Gilbert is not interested in telling Truth's story in Truth's words. She's interested in bashing slavery and discussing Christian revival denominations of the 1840s. Even though, I hate slavery and have an interest in Christian history, I found Gilbert annoying and dull. She has an American icon as her subject, yet chooses pious ramblings and preachiness over presenting the facts of the story. Page after page, I kept wishing that I was reading Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass instead.During the final chapter, it becomes evident that Gilbert wrote this as a way to raise rent money for Sojourner Truth. I'm glad they paid the landlord, but I'm disappointed that they couldn't do it with a better book.

  • Ahonsi
    2019-02-10 09:25

    It's not that Sojourner Truth's story isn't worth being told, it's the manner in which it was presented. The person who penned her narrative, Olive Gilbert, in my opinion, did a poor job conveying Truth's account and inserted too much of their self into it. As such, it was a job to read this, and not a thing of leisure. Truth should have shone through more, in a way that Frederick Douglas did in his first and second narratives (which so happen to have been authored by his own hand).

  • LaRae
    2019-02-23 07:18

    Sojourner Truth had amazing courage and faith -- What an inspiration. Her story deserves to be read.Some of the religious aspects of her journey were weird (like cultish weird) but everything she learned about God she learned on her own, and faith was such an important part of her journey. "I feel safe in the midst of my enemies, for the truth is all powerful and will prevail.”

  • Margaret
    2019-02-07 01:33

    Sojourner Truth was born Isabella, a slave, in New York just before 1800. She was emancipated when New York abolished slavery in 1827, and a few years later, she took a new name for herself and began a new career as an itinerant preacher. She quickly became famous for her stirring speeches and her championing of the rights of black people and women, and today she's one of the most famous African-American women of the Civil War period (along with Harriet Tubman).The 1884 edition of her Narrative is made up of several parts. First, there's the "Narrative of Sojourner Truth" itself, dictated by Truth to her white friend Olive Gilbert. Then, there's "The Book of Life", one of Truth's scrapbooks which was added to the Narrative by her friend Frances Titus (also white), containing articles about Truth, correspondence with her, and a set of autographs of famous people she had collected. After Truth's death, Titus added "A Memorial Chapter", containing obituary notices and poems and an account of Truth's funeral.This accruing of material and editing by Truth's friends results in a multilayered story of her life, often surprisingly obscure, and I was glad to have Painter's biography of Truth to read after the Narrative. (Painter also provides an extremely useful introduction to the Penguin edition of the Narrative, so it's not absolutely necessary to read her biography; I just liked the expanded analysis there.) I was especially impressed by Painter's discussion of the difference between the real Truth and how her friends and editors portrayed her. For instance, lots of articles about her quote her as speaking with a Southern dialect she wouldn't have used, since she was from the North; many white people would have thought this the normal way for all black people to speak, since black people were associated so strongly in their minds with Southern slavery. Yet Truth wasn't simply content to be seen as others wanted to see her; Painter examines also how she chose to portray herself and how she created her own persona.The strength and intelligence of Truth's personality shine through all of the multiplicity of sources of the Narrative; Painter's incisive analysis helps make clear the outlines of Truth's life and provides an even more vivid portrait of her character. I was pleased to have read the Narrative and gotten to know more about a woman I really knew only by name, and I was even more pleased to follow that up with such an excellent biography.

  • Antoine Dumas
    2019-02-16 07:11

    This is not the narrative of Sojourner Truth. Even though it's presented as an autobiography, it is a white person’s interpretation of certain events in Truth’s life, with heavy emphasis on the religious ones (if you wanted to read some shallow ruminations about the relationship between Jehovah and Jesus, help yourself). The focus on the white people involved and the insistence on leaving out the more gruesome details because it would damage certain people’s reputation get really frustrating (if you’re not going to talk about something, then don’t bring it up is all I’m saying). The slant towards the white interveners might have to do with the fact that the entire narrative seems to be an appeal to the community to provide for Truth in her old age. This is jarring to me (among many other reasons including, of course, White saviourism) because the speech Truth is best known for came after this book was first published, so she couldn’t have been that decrepit at the time of writing.All the same, the book is an interesting glimpse into what life was like in New England in the early-to-mid 1800s. Watching the author try to conjure up a medium that would enable her to preserve Truth’s passion, tone of voice and countenance is amusing.This book is also a testament to Truth’s intellect and courage, despite her not knowing how to read or count or tell time.

  • Denise
    2019-02-01 09:09

    This is an important piece of historical literature by Sojourner Truth to primarily point out the evils of slavery. It is helpful to read a biography of her first and be familiar with her life. This little volume was penned for her by someone else, as she could not read nor write. This narrative was published for her to sell as a way to help support herself as she traveled about speaking against slavery. This only covers the beginning of her life, and she had many more adventures that followed this account. The woman writing this for her does insert some of her own interpretations, ideas, and examples, so this is not precisely in her own words. Worth being aware of.

  • Claire Baxter
    2019-02-10 06:05

    I felt kind of bad giving this book a low score but to be honest I struggled through it and considered not finishing it. Taking nothing away from her life at all because it was a remarkable life, and this book is an important historical document, but as a reading book, it felt incoherent at times and jumped around between first and third person and also between time periods so I wasn't always sure who exactly they were talking about. It was interesting to learn about slavery in the north as that's a side you don't normally get, and there were some other points that hit home for me that I was able to takeaway but overall I didn't enjoy reading this book just because of the style of writing.

  • Sara
    2019-02-04 03:23

    Normally, reading a book for school doesn't ruin it for me. This time.... Well, I expected it to be slightly interesting, at least. The life sounded slightly interesting. She sounded fierce enough. But it wasn't. No engaging characters, no engaging plot. I didn't finish it. There's a test on it coming soon, and we shall see if I reread it. At this point I would rather fail the test than reread the book. Does that imply how awful it is?

  • Hanan
    2019-02-12 03:19

    This book showed me how a woman can make a change despite the unfair age she lived in, remarkable strong woman who contributed to shaping of society in her own way!!

  • Winter Sophia Rose
    2019-01-30 07:13

    A Compelling, Fascinating & Insightful Story!

  • Alex
    2019-01-27 07:18

    Sojourner Truth's narrative seems to be overlooked compared to some of the more well-known slave narratives. Hers offers a different perspective than the typical narrative, which usually involves a villainous slave master, and an ambitious fugitive slave. Truth was a northerner, born in New York, and spent most of her life in the North, an area that Americans historically associate as a place of refuge for runaway slaves. This is a myth, and probably why Truth's narrative is overlooked. As a slave in the North, some readers, may find it surprising that slaves underwent similar deplorable treatment as slaves in the South. The thing that seems to separate Truth's narrative from others that I have read is her relationship as it pertains to God. It is interesting to see how the circumstances of her life change and affect her beliefs about God, Jesus, etc. She talks to god directly frequently, as she relies fervently on prayer to God for assistance. Just like many of the other slave narratives that I've read, Truth's story is a testimony to the resiliency of the human spirit. It is proof once again, that with the right mindset, you can live a complete and full life of your choosing. Truth was illiterate, yet one of the most well-known speakers of her time. She spent the first forty years of her life as a slave, yet by the end of it, she had befriended some of the most well-known abolitionists and political figures in the country, including two presidents. She was a humble servant of God, using her faith as her protection when encountered by those who might do her harm. In turn, it seemed to work, as she did not meet serious harm after her days of slavery, during a time when people of color did not receive protection from the laws. She was also financially poor, choosing to not engage in taking jobs that others (blacks) could benefit more from, but instead paid her way by selling her book and photographs, and donations from others who supported her cause in helping the Blacks become more independent and self-supporting.The drawbacks that I had are that Truth is not telling her own story. Yes, the narrative is about her, but because Truth was illiterate, her narrative is dictated by other writers and is even in part written in the third person, although it is her (auto)biography. I think this is one of the reasons why this particular narrative is not as prominent as others–the confusion that seems to surround who Truth really was and her place in the movements of civil rights and women's rights, etc. It seems that because her story has over the years been told through others, which is apparent in the introduction of the book, where writers such as Harriet Beecher Stowe and others used Truth's words to help push their own agendas. The lack of Truth not being able to write her own story has led to others shaping and molding it through their own writing. Basically, it may hold some of the spirit and details of her life, but it is not written in her voice, and it is quite evident. Knowing Truth's story is very much so worthwhile, but the writing and setup of this book make the reading of it tedious. Part of it may be because of the time it was written, but the language could be less wordy. The latter part of the book is not even biographical, but really a long catalogue of articles and writings of the announcements and reports of her various speaking engagements. Many of them redundant in nature. Also included is a brief publications of just a few of the names who signed her "Book of Life" (She collected signatures for a petition to the government to set aside land for Blacks).In summary, I didn't know much about Sojourner Truth before reading this book other than her "Arn't I a Woman" speech, which I only know little about. I think her story should be regular reading along with some of the other popular slave narratives. I do think it should perhaps be updated or the book reformatted for easier reading, which I think is one of the drawbacks of this book. The story is great, it's just that the writing is not all that great, but she, of course did not write it herself. I was aware of this but for those who are not, her story speaks truth to the fact that slavery was brutal and inhumane across the board, and not just in a particular part of the country (i.e. the South) as some like to believe. I also learned that it's important to follow your calling in life. Truth had a calling and even changed her name to match it. Her calling was to Sojourn across the nation and speak out the truth and to testify against the many evils that existed against women, blacks, and humanity across the board. She lived a brutal first 40 years as a slave, yet she lived longer, traveled farther, and befriended more than many she knew. She had a striking wit that stayed with her until her last days, and she could control any audience. Book learning is not everything. Truth once said that "you all read books, but God speaks to me directly." She accomplished a great deal as far as personal growth, just as a personal period, and even more so as a former slave.

  • Caroline
    2019-01-30 09:23

    On this day, 150 years ago, the same letters we get from our activist friends daily:"My dear friend: --I know you will be glad to put your mark to the inclosed petition, and get a good many to join it, and send or take it to some member of Congress to present. Do you know that there are three men, Schench, Jenkes, and Broomall, who have dared to propose to amend the United States Constitution by inserting in it the word 'male', thus shutting all women out of the constitution from voting for president, vice-president, and congressmen, even though they may have the right to vote in the state for state officers. It is a most atrocious proposition, and I know Sojourner Truth will say, No, to it. God bless you and help you to do the good work before you, is the wish of your friend,Susan B. Anthony (New York, Jan 13, 1866)There's so much to say about how Sojourner's story was coopted for feminism, what her true topic was, but this is the artifact of our book club conversation I keep returning to in my head.

  • Lois Clark-Johnston
    2019-02-07 07:17

    This was really good and interesting. The language is dated and a bit too much God for my atheist tastes but standard in this type of narrative.I own a digital copy of this book and listened to the audiobook on hoopla. I did not care for the audiobook at all.

  • Netanella
    2019-01-24 01:28

    A powerful and emotional reading experience, one that should be required reading in Middle School, as I agree with one reviewer's post. Sojourner Truth was born into slavery in the northern state of New York around 1800, and escaped into freedom a year before the state abolished slavery within its borders. Her given name was Isabella Baumfree, and she changed her name to Sojourner during her travels. An abolitionist, women's rights activists, itinerant preacher, she's an extremely important figure for this period of American history. And, her story is both brutal and inspiring. Brutal, because the nature of slavery is just inhuman, and inspiring, because her personal connection with God and Jesus served as a source of strength for her her entire life. There are many notable things from this biography for me. First, Sojourner was illiterate, as many blacks and women were during her time. This is not her autobiography, so do not come to this book expecting her words. The book is written by Sojourner's friend Olive Gilbert, who wrote from Sojourner's dictation of her memoirs. As such, there is much of Gilbert in the writing, as is to be expected. Additionally, Sojourner was a very religious woman, and spirituality plays a necessary and immediate role in this book, as it did in the lives of many people who lived in these times. I picked up this book because I was inspired by my 4th grade daughter's book - in her social studies section of class, she is reading Freedom Crossing, a fictional account of the Underground Railroad. When I told her about Sojourner Truth, she was shocked that there were slaves in the North. And that when they were freed, the majority were left to starvation and destitution. I hope she picks up this narrative at some time in the next few years. I know I will encourage her in that regard.

  • Sarah
    2019-02-01 04:07

    Great narrative of the harrowing circumstances Sojourner Truth endured as a woman freed from slavery prior to the Civil War. The English is antiquated, of course, so that can make it hard to get through in parts. But the descriptions of the circumstances of slavery, from living conditions, to beatings, to the interplay between master and slave were very real and important to read about. Her optimism, spirit, strength, and determination shines throughout her narrative as she demands her freedom, seeks safety, tries to gain freedom for her son, and then endures prejudice as she travels north to teach religion. This woman was fearless and strong, and we can all learn a lot from what she had to overcome in her life to become a religious teacher, abolitionist, and women's rights advocate. It's especially important to pick this stuff up now. This kind of memoir has and always will be relevant, but with the ongoing #BlackLivesMatter movement, it's especially important to learn about where the current system of racial oppression began in the United States. We cannot overcome our current circumstances without understanding historical background and placing ourselves in the shoes of the oppressed. I am grateful memoirs like this exist when education was hard to come by for slaves during the time, so many of the accounts of slavery are second-hand or passed down through storytelling. Go read this--you might learn something.

  • Pat
    2019-01-24 03:13

    A very remarkable life story. I am so astounded by her faith given what she went through. She never learned to read or write, never had money to speak of, went almost everywhere on foot, stayed wherever she could get shelter or food, made fast friends, gained respect, persevered in her cause, never gave up and accomplished so much ...for others. Like Mother Theresa, this is one of the few examples, true examples, of a life in faith or truly walking with Jesus. One of the few books that talks about the travesty of the first generation of freed slaves. Imagine becoming free, with no money, no ability to read or write, no saleable skill, no idea where your family was or no way to get to them, nowhere to go, no shelter, no access to medicine or a doctor, no food, just the clothes on your back... imagine children being set free without parents...There is a lot to think about in this book

  • George
    2019-02-17 06:35

    "The Narrative of Sojourner Truth" by Olive Gilbert is a short biography (up to about the age 50) of Sojourner Truth. Truth, a former slave, was an important abolitionist and women's rights activist in the 19th Century. Gilbert was a close friend of Truth and the proceeds from the sale of this book were used to support Truth. While Gilbert's narrative may not be of the highest quality, I think this book is important both as the earliest biography of Truth and also as an example of abolitionist literature of the pre-Civil War period. I recommend this book to anyone interested in slavery and U.S. history. Rating: 3 out of 5 stars Notes: Audiobook: Narrated by: Bobbie Frohman Length: 3 hours and 51 minutes Unabridged Audiobook Release Date: 2009-08-14 Publisher: Alcazar AudioWorks

  • Jeni Enjaian
    2019-02-18 07:10

    If you want to learn about Sojourner Truth, pick another book. The initial narrative is smooth but lacks clear definition on a number of important fronts like historical actors and chronology. Much of the book is highly propagandistic, especially religiously, although such a fact is typical of works of the era. The second half makes very little sense. It is a seemingly random compilation of anecdotes, personal letters and notes among other odd items, none of which are arranged chronologically. The author also indulges in a bit of "native speak" aka writing out how Sojourner Truth supposedly sounded. I find that particularly annoying because it lends more difficulty to the text than necessary. If you are interested in reading the classics, by all means, read this book. Otherwise, avoid it.

  • Janet Gardner
    2019-01-23 09:22

    Sojourner Truth is one of those people I’ve known about for decades, but the only thing of hers I’d actually read was the famous “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech (which, of course, was written and re-written over the years and may not be a very clear representation of the extemporaneous oration she gave). On the whole, I found this oral history quite interesting, and of course very sad and moving. For my own purposes, though, I wish it had spent more time on her days in slavery and immediately after, and a bit less detailing the specifics of her theology, her differences with the Matthias Delusion and Second Advent Doctrines and the like. From this remove of history (or, at least from my own perspective) that stuff is far less interesting than how a tough, illiterate slave made a name and place for herself in an unwelcoming world.