Sojourner Truth

Struth400

in between blogging, writing a short story and a poem, making lunch and starting my homework, I came across in a flukey way, The narrative of Sojourner Truth, and began to read it, and read and read. I love it when books are so powerful you have to read it one sitting. Apart from the appauling conditions in which she lived in her firt years up to her freedom I was struck by one incident.

At a camp fire meeting she was cowering behind a trunk, being the only black woman there and assuming that the young louts that were causing a scene would set upon her. She prayed and decided to get up and sing. She stood in the middle of the area, singing, the louts crowded around her with clubs and batons. She stopped, and asked them not to beat her. They all said they weren’t going to hurt her, they wanted to hear her: sing, pray, speak. For a while she did just that and they sat and listened. She then asked them to leave and they did.

She didn’t need to use violent thought or action to get them to do her bidding. Her voice did that. Her voice that was filled with sweet scripture, challenging lyrics and splendid rhetoric. This woman knew how to hold her audience, she had a gift, a gift given to her by the Lord, a gift that she spent most of her free life using to share the word of the Lord.

Her speech “Ain’t I A Woman” used often in women’s right’s campaigns has both a tenderness and humour that belies the actual content. She was a fierce woman, the first to win a court case against a white man. A beautiful insight of a woman designed by God for the glory of God.

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