Sojourner Truth: Ain't I a Woman?

Sojourner Truth: Ain't I a Woman?

by Patricia C. McKissack, Fredrick L. McKissack
     
 

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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

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.

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780590446914
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
01/28/1994
Series:
Scholastic Biography Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
321,230
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 7.64(h) x 0.44(d)
Lexile:
960L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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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