Sojourner Truth: Ain't I a Woman?

Overview

In 1797, a slave named Isabella was born in New York. After being freed in 1827, she chose the name by which she has been remembered long after her death - Sojourner Truth.

Truth was a preacher, an abolitionist, an activist for the rights of both blacks and women. Although she couldn't read, she could quote the Bible word for word, and was a powerful speaker. An imposing six feet tall, with a profound faith in God's love and a deep rich voice,...

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Overview

In 1797, a slave named Isabella was born in New York. After being freed in 1827, she chose the name by which she has been remembered long after her death - Sojourner Truth.

Truth was a preacher, an abolitionist, an activist for the rights of both blacks and women. Although she couldn't read, she could quote the Bible word for word, and was a powerful speaker. An imposing six feet tall, with a profound faith in God's love and a deep rich voice, she stirred audiences around the country until her death in 1883.

A biography of the former slave who became well-known as an abolitionist and advocate of women's rights.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This work by the authors of A Long Hard Journey--The Story of the Pullman Porter is a great deal more than a biography of a remarkable woman. The forceful narrative also offers a startling portrayal of a pivotal yet appalling era in American history. Born a slave in Ulster County, N.Y., in 1797, ``Hardenbergh's Belle'' (so named after her first owner) had been bought and sold by several masters by the time she was a teenager. In 1826, betrayed by an owner who reneged on his promise to free her if she ``worked extra hard,'' Belle made the first of many intrepid moves, and escaped with her youngest child. After living for some time in New York City, in 1843 the deeply religious woman followed what she interpreted as a directive from God and, assuming the name of Sojourner Truth, went off ``to do the Lord's work.'' For the rest of her long life, the indefatigable abolitionist and feminist journeyed from one state to another, delivering her impressively articulate message at anti-slavery and women's rights conventions--often to hostile, jeering audiences. The authors' meticulously researched account describes Truth's relationships with such noted figures as William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Abraham Lincoln, underscoring the book's value as a chronicle of not just one, but many courageous individuals' battles against injustice. Ages 8-12. (Nov.)
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
This is a rich biography because of the dynamic energy and brilliance of its subject. Sojourner may have been illiterate, she had to dictate her autobiography, but she spoke dramatically and sincerely from first-hand experience. Her wit and wisdom are still applicable. She spoke out for all who were oppressed, both slaves and women. Six feet tall, dressed in black, she had a presence that made people take notice. Her famous "...and ain't I a woman" speech is still a powerhouse. She is a woman for all time. 1994 (orig.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-- With compassion and historical detail, the McKissacks offer a rich profile of Isabella Van Wagener. Her experiences as both slave and freed slave in New York shaped her midlife commitment to abolition and women's rights. At age 46, she received a call to ``walk in the light of His truth.'' Henceforward, her name was Sojourner Truth and, although she never learned to read or write, the six-foot tall woman became a striking, eloquent spokesperson whose wit, common sense, and candor popularized her with audiences throughout New England and the Midwest. This biography draws personal information from many of the same sources cited in other recent biographies by Lindstrom (Messner, 1980; o.p.), Taylor-Boyd (Gareth Stevens, 1990), and Macht (Chelsea, 1992). But the McKissacks emphasize the condition of African-Americans from 1797-1883, their subject's convictions and magnetism, her contributions to the welfare of her people, and her involvement with other influential abolitionists and activists during the last 40 years of her life. Brief profiles of these acquaintances, from Susan B. Anthony to Harriet Tubman, are appended. Middle grade readers and researchers will enjoy the readability, quotes, and documentary photos, all of which breathe life into the personality and times of Sojourner Truth. --Gerry Larson, Chewning Junior High School, Durham, NC
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780590446914
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/1994
  • Series: Scholastic Biography Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 358,141
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 960L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.64 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author


Patricia and Fredrick McKissack are the authors of numerous award-winning books, including REBELS AGAINST SLAVERY: AMERICAN SLAVE REVOLTS and BLACK HANDS, WHITE SAILS: THE STORY OF AFRICAN AMERICAN WHALERS, both Coretta Scott King Honor Books, and SOJOURNER TRUTH: AIN’T I A WOMAN? a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and winner of the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award. Patricia and Fredrick McKissack live in St. Louis, Missouri. John McKissack resides in Memphis, Tennessee.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Part I7
1 Hardenbergh's Belle 9
2 Dumont's Belle 25
3 Free Belle! 37
4 The Kingdom 49
5 Gone Forever 65
Part II79
6 A New Direction 81
7 Ain't I a Woman? 99
8 Keep 'Em Scratchin' 116
9 The Book of Life 129
10 The Last Cause 153
More About the People Sojourner Truth Knew 165
Bibliography 179
Index 181
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2008

    The Most Incredible Book to ever be written

    I read this book when I was only in the fifth grade and i loved it. In school we don't learn about Our Great African American Heros. But in this book Sojourner Truth did things that should never be forgotten in our American History. I think that ever history class should read this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2007

    Not the best

    This is a book I have to read for school. I don't like the way it was written. But, it is a good story.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2006

    A nice pick for a class book

    This was recommended to me by our school librarian for the seminar class I had of 9th and 10th grade students. This was a great book since it was compelling and, of course, a true story and it interwove the historical background with her personal life. We discussed the character of Sojourner as well as the larger themes of justice and slavery, etc. Most of the students got into it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2005

    great book!

    At first i did not want to read the book because it was for a project, but then i could not put it down. Sojourner Truth: Ain't I a Woman? is such a great book, I choose to read it over and over again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2006

    BLECH

    ...just another boring biography... personally i did not like it or how it was written... p.s.-white people arent 'evil'

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2003

    This is the second black person next to MLK; her speech is so inspiring and i really believe Dr. King studied her as a civil rights speaker.

    i loved 'aint i a woman' because the title sent a chill down my back; it sounds like if im a woman by appearance than give me my rights like one.but the speech also taught me to be proud of being a black young woman who is grateful for knowing about her black history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2003

    My opinion

    It is a great book. I had to do a book report on it and got an A+(Outstanding).

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