Share This Article

SOJOURNER TRUTH: A LIFE, A SYMBOL, by Nell Irvin Painter (W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 448pages, $28.00).

This enlightening biography recounts the life of one of the most important black women of thenineteenth century, who was born a slave but died a legend. Painter chronicles how Sojourner Truth (1797-1883),given the name Isabella Baumfree at birth by her owners, evolved from an illiterate woman into a preacher, abolitionist,radical feminist, and the leading black woman orator of her time. The text is interspersed with Truth’s own words andis complemented by illustrations that include Frank Courter’s 1893 painting of her 1864 visit with President AbrahamLincoln (1809-65).