Sojourner Truth As Orator

Overview

This work is an in-depth analysis of the full breadth of Sojourner Truth's public discourse that places it in its proper historical context and explores the use of humor and narratives as primary rhetorical strategies used by this illiterate ex-slave to create a powerful public persona. The book provides a comprehensive survey of the life of Sojourner Truth, and includes a unique and authoritative compilation of primary rhetorical documents, such as speeches, songs, and public ...

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Overview

This work is an in-depth analysis of the full breadth of Sojourner Truth's public discourse that places it in its proper historical context and explores the use of humor and narratives as primary rhetorical strategies used by this illiterate ex-slave to create a powerful public persona. The book provides a comprehensive survey of the life of Sojourner Truth, and includes a unique and authoritative compilation of primary rhetorical documents, such as speeches, songs, and public letters.

This is the only major work to date that analyzes the breadth of Sojourner Truth's public discourse. The volume includes a complete and authoritative compilation of her extant rhetoric, including several versions of the same speech, reports of her speaking appearances, public letters published by Truth in newspapers, and songs written and performed by her as part of her public lectures. Three chapters address the rhetorical dimensions of Truth's public persona. First, an historical survey contextualizes her life and speaking from slave to reformer, placing into perspective the variety of experiences that comprised her background. Second, an analysis of Truth's use of humor focuses upon how she employed the strategies of superiority and incongruity in her refutation of opponents and the establishment of her own credibility. Third, a critique of Truth's use of narratives in her discourse reveals how both her speeches and songs rely upon three fundamental stories for their persuasive impact: her slave life and religious conversion, her use of the black jeremiad to portray race differences, and her tales of woman's strength and moral conviction. The volume concludes with a consideration of Truth's status as a folk legend and how she wished to be remembered.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Offers a portrait of Truth as an orator, analyzing her use of humor, songs, and stories to persuade audiences. Part I describes her journey from slave to freewoman, and details her work as a storyteller and songstress. Part II is a collection of excerpts from speeches, reports, public letters, and songs by and about Truth. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313300684
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/23/1997
  • Series: Great American Orators Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 262
  • Lexile: 1350L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

SUZANNE PULLON FITCH is an independent researcher. She formerly was an Associate Professor of Speech Communication at Southwest Texas State University. Her contributions include a chapter on Sojourner Truth in Women Public Speakers in the United States, 1800-1925, edited by Karlyn Kohrs Campbell (Greenwood, 1993).

ROSEANN M. MANDZIUK is Associate Professor of Speech Communication at Southwest Texas State University.

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Table of Contents

Series Foreword
Foreword
Acknowledgments
Pt. I Critical Analysis 1
1 Introduction 3
2 From Slave to Freewoman 9
3 "If We Can Laugh and Sing" 31
4 Storyteller and Songstress 51
5 Conclusion: Folk Legend 89
Pt. II Collected Speeches, Reports, Public Letters, and Songs 97
Speeches 99
Specimens of Religious Talk to Second Adventists, Windsor Lock, Connecticut, 1843 101
Woman's Rights Convention, Akron, Ohio, May 28, 1851 103
Woman's Rights Convention, Akron, Ohio, May 28, 1851 105
Women's Rights Convention, Akron, Ohio, May 28, 1851 107
New York City Anti-Slavery Society, Metropolitan Hall, New York City, September 4, 1853 109
Woman's Rights Convention, Broadway Tabernacle, New York City, September 7, 1853 111
Woman's Rights Convention, Broadway Tabernacle, New York City, September 7, 1853 113
Proceedings at the Anti-Slavery Celebration, Framingham, Massachusetts, July 4, 1854 115
Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Friends of Human Progress in Michigan, Battle Creek, Michigan, October 5, 1856 117
State Sabbath School Convention, Battle Creek, Michigan, June 3, 1863 119
First Annual Meeting of the American Equal Rights Association, (First Speech), Church of the Puritans, New York City, May 9, 1867 121
First Annual Meeting of the American Equal Rights Association, (First Speech), Church of the Puritans, New York City, May 9, 1867 123
First Annual Meeting of the American Equal Rights Association, (Second Speech), Church of the Puritans, New York City, May 10, 1867 125
First Annual Meeting of the American Equal Rights Association, (Second Speech), Church of the Puritans, New York City, May 10, 1867 127
First Annual Meeting of the American Equal Rights Association, (Third Speech), Church of the Puritans, New York City, May 10, 1867 129
Commemoration of the Eighth Anniversary of Negro Freedom in the United States, Tremont Temple, Boston, Massachusetts, January 1, 1871 131
Lecture Rochester, New York, May 5, 1871 133
Sojourner Truth: Extracts from her Lecture on Capital Punishment, Lansing, Michigan, June 3, 1881 135
Reports 137
Anti-Slavery Convention, Rochester, New York, March 15, 1851 139
Woman's Rights Convention, Akron, Ohio, May 28, 1851 141
Woman's Rights Convention, Akron, Ohio, May 28, 1851 143
Address by a Slave Mother, First Congregational Church, New York City, September 6, 1853 145
Woman's Rights Convention, Broadway Tabernacle, New York City, September 7, 1853 149
Woman's Rights Convention, Broadway Tabernacle, New York City, September 7, 1853 151
Lecture of a Colored Woman, Congregational Church, Williamsburgh, New York, September 15, 1853 153
Lecture by Sojourner Truth, Anthony Street, New York City, November 7, 1853 155
Proceedings at the Anti-Slavery Celebration, Framingham, Massachusetts, July 4, 1854 159
Sojourner Truth, Ashtabula County, Ohio, 1855 161
Sojourner Truth, (Report by James A. Dugdale), 1863 163
First Annual Meeting of the American Equal Rights Association, Church of the Puritans, New York City, May 9, 1867 167
First Annual Meeting of the American Equal Rights Association, Church of the Puritans, New York City, May 10, 1867 169
First Annual Meeting of the American Equal Rights Association, Church of the Puritans, New York City, May 10, 1867 171
First Annual Meeting of the American Equal Rights Association, Church of the Puritans, New York City, May 10, 1867 173
American Woman Suffrage Association, Steinway Hall, New York City, May 11, 1870 175
"Sojourner Truth's Lecture" 177
Sojourner Truth on Dress, Providence, Rhode Island 179
Sojourner Truth and her Talks, April 12, 1871 181
Lecture at Merrill Hall, Detroit, Michigan, June 27, 1871 183
George Truman and Sojourner Truth in Orange, Orange, New Jersey, 1874 185
Sojourner Truth, Detroit, Michigan 187
Sojourner Truth, Langley Avenue Methodist Church, Chicago, Illinois, Aug. 12, 1879 189
Sojourner Truth: The Fashions 191
Public Letters 193
Letter for Sojourner Truth: The Story of Her Interview with the President 195
Sojourner Truth at Work 199
Public Letter 201
Public Letter 203
Songs 205
Hymn 207
I Bless the Lord I've Got My Seal 209
It Was Early in the Morning 211
She Pleadeth for Her People 213
Sojourner's Favorite Song 215
Song of a Fugitive Slave, Who made his Escape from Tennessee to Canada 217
The Valiant Soldiers 221
Chronology of Major Speeches 223
Bibliography 227
Index 233
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