Narrative of Sojourner Truth by Olive Gilbert and Up from Slavery by Booker Washington - Term Paper Example

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Narrative of Sojourner Truth is a classical piece of memoir written by Olive Gilbert and brings to light the struggles of a distinguished afro-American women’s rights campaigner, an abolitionist and orator going by the name ‘Sojourner Truth’. …
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Narrative of Sojourner Truth by Olive Gilbert and Up from Slavery by Booker Washington
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Download file to see previous pages Her original name was Isabella, daughter to James and Betsy (Gilbert 13). Her parents were slaves to Colonel Ardinburgh from Ulster County in Newyork, America. Narrative of Sojourner Truth accounts for Isabella’s life in slavery, her personal liberation, and her constant travels across America in pursuit of sexual and racial equality and freedom. Sojourner Truth is a name that she adopted after her freedom from her owner and she claimed that the name originated from God’s calling to the liberation course. She was illiterate but an admirable speaker and crusader of equality and anti-racialism.
Conversely, Up from Slavery (published in 1901) is an autobiography by Booker Taliaferro Washington recollecting his birth in slavery in Franklin County, Virginia, his education, his foundation of the Tuskegee Institute and his prowess as an excellent speaker and orator who in his life sought to cement good relations between people from different races and bring equality among them. His earliest picture that he could recall is that of slave dwellings and plantations, where the surroundings were miserable, discouraging and desolate. Booker knew very little about his ancestry but knew how horrible the voyages their ancestors had endured from Africa to America (Anderson 3). In his life, he was a dominant figure in the African-American population and represented the last bunch of black people in leadership positions born in slavery.
The two books therefore, have a common and significant similarity; both talk in depth about slavery, liberation, and inequality. The narrative of Sojourner of truth is a memoir written by Oliver Gilbert whereas the book up from slave is an autobiography written by Booker Washington himself. The memoir by Olive Gilbert can be seen to revolve around the themes of slavery, evangelism and women’s rights. Sojourner of truth was born in slavery and in her life, worked to emancipate slaves from servitude of the body by the existing American states. After her emancipation from servitude in 1828, she on one occasion said that she would not walk away from the truth, she would therefore stay put and persevere the slavery fires just like the biblical heroes (Gilbert 111-112). She also suggested that slavery had fully prepared her for spiritual tests in ways white preachers could not comprehend. In her childhood years, slavery had made her and her family property to Colonel Ardinburgh of Ulster County, Newyork. Slavery had also subjected her to barbaric whipping by her later owner, John Nealy (Gilbert 27). Slavery exposed her and her family to atrocious working surroundings that at times made them available for auction. Later in her life, her son peter faced the auctioneer’s hammer much to the agony of Sojourner truth. According to her, this was an illegal sale and her fist step after emancipation was to pursue legal action against Solomon Gedney, wealthy elite who had sold Peter outside the state. She won the case and reunited with her son whom she took to Newyork city. Narrative of Sojourner Truth also centers on the evangelical theme. She travelled widely to the countryside calling on people to repent and taught in camps that ‘Jesus Christ is the spirit that existed in Adam and Eve’. Out of this, she perfected herself as an excellent public speaker and preacher. She tried to merge slave life, women’s rights violations and evangelism everywhere she gave vocalizations. She once told her property owner that her name had changed from Isabella to Sojourner and that the spirit of God had changed her to become an accomplished woman of faith (Gilbert 100). True to her word, she became an excellent preacher explaining her own original but curious views to people who were willing to listen and it is said in the narrative that ...Download file to see next pagesRead more
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