My Name Is Truth: The Life of Sojourner Truth
Before she was a prophetic preacher speaking truth and power to crowds of people, Isabella Baumfree – later known as Sojourner Truth –was a slave, one of ten to twelve children who were eventually sold to different owners. Isabella herself was sold to several owners, beaten “until the blood ran”, and endured back-breaking work hauling rocks and timber. When Master Dumont goes back on his promise to grant Isabella freedom, she escapes with one of her children. Her acts of courage don’t end there. She retains a lawyer to gain custody of her son after she hears that he’s been sold down South. She starts preaching about equality and salvation at camp meetings and other gatherings, telling her story to a friend who writes her memoir.
Turner’s poetic narrative of Sojourner Truth’s life does not gloss over the harsh reality of slavery or the devastation Truth’s parents must have felt watching their children being sold to various owners. Readers experience a range of emotions through James Ransome’s watercolor illustrations. The final spreads are particularly poignant, bringing the story full circle with Truth back in her mother’s arms. Author’s notes fill the gaps in the story.
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