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"Sojourner Truth, Fearless Crusader," by Helen Stone Peterson. The book had
two hundred and ninety four pages. I chose this book because people overlook
this woman when thinking about African Americans who have spread positive ideas.
The main character is Isabella, who later renamed herself Sojourner Truth. The
book begins while she is only nine years old. In the beginning she is a naive
and scared little girl, but as the book progresses, she becomes a strong and
opinionated woman. The other characters are the people who help her throughout
her life, and those that try and hinder her. The book is about Sojourner Truth,
and the struggles she faced throughout her life due to her race. It begins with
her as a nine year old girl who is frightened about being seperated from her
family, and being sold to a new family. By the time she is thirteen she had been
sold five times. Shortly after July 4, 1827, Sojourner escaped her former owner,
to begin a life of her own, as a free woman. At the time she was twenty nine. By
leaving her owner, she left her children. To get them back, she placed a formal
complaint with a local courthouse, in Kingston, NY. The court appealed in her
favor, allowing her her son. In 1829, she and her two children moved to New York
City, so that her son and daughter could have an education. She lived there for
three years. In the beginning of her fourth year, a religious man invited her
present employer to come to his communal country estate, so as to worship God.
While there, Sojournerís employer died, and she was blamed for his death. To
prove that she was innocent, she went to former employers, getting letters that
praised her highly. Due to this slander of her name, she took her complaint to
court, where in a white jury, she was pronounced not guilty, and awarded a small
sum of money. Shortly after this, her son Peter presumably died. Feeling guilty
that his childhood only consisted of beatings, Sojourner traveled around New
York, New England and Massachusetts, helping people and spreading Godís word.
In 1850, a book was published about Sojournerís life. She was fifty three at
the time. She would later attend antislavery meetings, telling people about her
life, and sing the songs her mother taught her. After an antislavery/womanís
right meeting in Akron, Ohio, Sojourner then became a fighter for womenís
rights. On Thanksgiving in 1862, Sojourner and her family brought dinner to
black soldiers training near Detroit. At the age of sixty seven, she met with
Abraham Lincoln. After Lincolnís assassination, she met with President
Johnson, and shortly after, changed laws in Washington that forced streetcar
conductors to stop for black passengers. Sojourner Truth died in 1883 of a fatal
illness. This book is an incredible relay of what African Americans had to face
before the Civil War, and even what they continue to face now. After reading
this book I came away with an immense knowledge of the history of NY, as well as
the history of a woman who helped pave the way for abolitionists, and womenís
rights movements. I though this book was interesting, as well as informative.
Although the mood of the book was sometimes a little depressing, the
characterization was good, and the imagery was interesting, as was the
symbolism. These literary techniques helped to enhance the picture of what the
people had to live through. All in all, I really enjoyed reading it.
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Sojourner Truth, Sojourner
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