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In an ever changing world , the evolution of man has been the

most drastic in terms of technological, environmental, and

emotional advancement. With great expansions in the various

areas mentioned earlier the human being has ignored the very

entity of there existence, and the power of reasoning, the

ability to comprehend right from wrong without distortion. The

Narrative of Sojourner Truth illustrates the hardships that were

endured: enslavement, illiteracy, underclassing, brutal

assaults, and murders. The African -American women were

classed as third rate in the human scale that was implemented by

the slaveowners; categorized under the whites, then under the

African-American males. The African-American women were kept in

good standing for the convenience of child bearing.

Overburdened with the trials and tribulations of slavery

Sojourner Truth was able to prosper with spiritual beliefs.

Sojourner Truth’s stability was made possible by a strong

belief in the Holy Spirit. God was the major source of guidance,

and willpower from the commencement of the slave trade until the

emancipation of slavery. Slavery was orchestrated on a mass

scale and caused the separation of many families in order to

ensure that slaves would remain with there respective masters.

Subservience to the slaveowners was considered to be sacred.

Slaves were mentally programmed to believe there masters were

gods. The wives of the slaveowners were seen as goddess’s ,with

there prime intent on down playing the daily work done by the

African-American women. This was evident with Sojourner’s first

slave mistress, the continuos work routine that was endure by

Sojourner, was difficult for males to accomplished. the slaves

loyal to there masters. Ignorance of the slaves was a pivotal

point in terms of loyalty. Considering slave knowledge was

limited, in terms of the genetic appearance, beliefs, and

language; slaveowners 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. 1

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

majority were sent to perform field duties. The Narrative

clearly shows that Sojourner (a.k.a.) Isabella was subjected to

this type of work throughout her adult life ,mean while her life

began to take shape despite the continuos curtailing of her

emotional growth. This is directly related to her mother’s

early testimony about the highest spirits and the magnitude of

his power in relations to suffering and distressing situations.

” My children there is a God, who hears and sees

you”, A God, mau-mau! where does he live? asked the children.

“He lives in the sky,” she replied, “and when you are beaten ,or

cruelly treated, or fall into any trouble, you must ask help of

him, and he will always hear and help you.” She taught them to

keel and say the Lord’s prayer. 2

Underclassing exploited the African American women

for the most part Sojourner was rated second class by the wife

of her slavemaster, the master was very appreciative of the

slave that would work for days upon days without sleep. Unlike

any other slave Sojourner would work whole heartedly without any

form of hesitation. In terms of views of various work loads, and

different job types, a local. Although Sojourner was highly

noted as a slave she was always sited as something that was

irrespectfull of a human.

It was a fine triumph for Sojourner and her master, and

she became more ambitious than ever to please him; and he

stimulated her ambition by his commendation, and by boasting of

her to his friends, telling them that “that wench ” (pointing to

Isabel) is better to me than a man- for she will do a good

family’s washing in the night, and be ready in the morning to go

into the field, where she will do as much at raking and binding

as my best hands”. 3

Sojourner’s work ethics were adopted without the incentive

of monetary gain or ownership of land.

Payment was the continuance of life, chances to have children

and see them grow as Sojourner did in her case. The

underclassing of the African-American women in this Narrative

represents the disruption in the natural reoccurring process of

the family unit staying together as one.

African-American women were viewed as no comparison to white

women, major problems arose when the women would try to

rationalize there feelings about the ill treatment of there

children, also the selling of there children. The inquiries were

taken as an insult by the slavemasters wives. Sojourner’s

slaveowners trained her to have her main concerns directed to

there children. The results of Sojourner’s hard work resulted in

harder work being delegated, without any consideration being

taken that she was a human being. Sojourner was scorned by

fellow slaves for her work habits in such barbaric circumstances.

These extra exertions to please, and the

praises consequent upon them, brought upon her head envy of her

fellow slaves, and they taunted her with being the white folks

nigger. 4

As Sojourner grew older, men took interest in her

despite scorning from the other slaves. Robert a slave from

another family fell in love with her. Forbidden to see

Sojourner he followed his heart instead of his masters orders.

Sojourner’s illness caused Robert to visit her during the day,

which was easily detected by his master, caused a brutal beating

and humiliating display to Robert similar to that of a escaped

animal. Robert was order to seek love from a slave within his

own family, fearful of another life threatening assault by his

master, Robert obeyed an forgot about his true love.

Although the union was not made, Sojourner got married,

bearing five children for her husband.

Sojourner loss one of her children under false pretences, which

was a regular practice in the slavery period. Sojourner is led

to believe her son is at another family which is close to her.

Sojourner escapes from her masters home, taking refuge close

by. After being lied too by her master; that she would be freed

in the year of 1826. Sojourner leaves in the year of 1827.

Sojourner is bought by Mr. Issac’s S.Van Wagener who gives her

refuge, she is bought as an individual, not as a slave and is

granted freedom. While residing with Mr. Wagener, Sojourner

seeks legal course to reclaim her son. After continuously

struggling with the legal system Sojourner is successful in her

endeavour. The treatment of her son is discovered once he is

returned to her, Sojourner learns of multiple beatings to both

her son and the brutal murder of her pregnant daughters unborn

child. Then of the murder of her daughter.

Heavens and earth, Isabella ! Fowler’s murdered Cousin

Eliza ! “Ho,” said Isabella, “that’s nothing- he liked to kill

my child; nothing save him but God. 5

Sojourner makes direct reference to God, that God can

save anyone if belief is entrusted in God.

But, ere she reached the vehicle, she says

that God revealed himself to her, with all the suddenness of a

flash of lighting, showing her, “in the twinkling of an eye,

that he was all over”- that he pervaded the universe- “and that

there was no place where God was not. “She became instantly

conscious of her great sin in forgetting her almighty friend

and “ever-present help in time of trouble.” All her unfilled

promises arose before her. Realization that God was everywhere

and everything around her, with the faith entrusted in him was a


Her language is, “let others say what they will of the

efficacy of prayer, I believe in it, and I shall pray Thank

God! Yes, I shall always pray,” 6

Sojourner started to embrace her spiritual calling, after

securing a safe home for her son Sojourner leaves for New York.

Sojourner meets Matthias and is taken by his self-proclaimation

type religion. Sojourner preaches with Matthias for a short

while: certain aspect of his theories are contorted to benefit

himself, as well as the rest of the male population. Sojourner

showed her determination as exemplified earlier in the Narrative

by fighting for what was right.

You need not be afraid to give us our rights for

fear we’ll take too much… if woman upset the world, do give

her a chance to set it right side up again. 7

Sojourner Truth Was born into slavery in 1797

under the name “Isabella Braumfree”, after strong spiritual

convictions she change her name to the above mentioned. With a

deep rooted motivation as did Sojourner, accompanied by a strong

belief in God: enslavement would turn into freedom, illiteracy

would turn into knowledge, underclassing would be reversed into

being a national black leader, brutal murders would become the

backbone of your strongest arguments as an abolitionist. In the

fight for emancipation. Sojourner’s spirituality was the guiding

factor in her life an caused her to be one of the most outspoken

women in the history of the United States of America.

Soujourner Truth—

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