Sojourner Truth

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Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth was able to prosper with her spiritual beliefs despite the trials and tribulations of slavery. Sojourner Truth's stability was made possible by a strong belief in the Holy Spirit. God was the major source of guidance and will power from the beginning of the slave trade until the end of slavery. Slavery was orchestrated on a mass scale and caused the separation of many families in order to make sure that slaves would remain with their masters. Reverence to slave owners was considered to be sacred. Slaves were mentally programmed to believe there masters were gods. The wives of the slave owners were seen as goddess's.

The continuous work routine Sojourner endured was difficult for males to accomplish. Considering slave knowledge was limited, in terms of the genetic appearance, beliefs, and language; slave owners could use this in a condescending manner to position themselves as gods in the eyes of Sojourner and other slaves. At this time she looked upon her master as a God; and believed that he could see her at all times, even as God himself.

Female African-American's were kept from experiencing any form of higher learning; they were confined to common household chores- duties that were befitting of a maid. The majorities were sent to perform field duties. It is clearly shown in the autobiography of Sojourner Truth, written by Nell Painter, that Sojourner (a.k.a.) Isabella Braumfree was forced to do this type of work throughout her adult life. Meanwhile her life began to take shape in spite of the continuous restriction of her emotional growth. This was directly related to her mother's beliefs about God and the magnitude of His power in relation to suffering and distressing si...

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Truth's views of women's rights attracted white women and this supported the cause of women's liberation. Powerful white women liked Truth's aggressive way of raising concern for women's rights.

In 1863, twelve years after the original speech, Frances Dana Gage published her enhanced version in the Anti-Slavery Standard (May 2, 1863). Gage opens her account with a description of the Women's Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio, at which she was the presiding officer. Gage's expanded description of the speech, and the impact it had upon the convention, appeared less than a month after Harriet Beecher Stowe published her article, "Libyan Sibyl," in the Atlantic Monthly. These two romanticized views of Sojourner Truth helped to create the public image of the ex-slave - an image that lingers on today.


Nell Painter: Sojourner Truth
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