Sojourner Truth, Photography, and the Fight Against Slavery
Illustrated lecture by Dr. Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby, Goldman Distinguished Professor in the Arts and Humanities, UC Berkeley
Join us at Holy Names University in the beautiful Oakland Hills for another exciting session of the Fall 2016 APPSI Speaker Series, presented by the Asia Pacific Peace Studies Institute (APPSI) and co-sponsored by the CORE Program in Integrative Studies Across Cultures. For more information, please contact Prof. Chiho Sawada at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sojourner Truth gained fame in the nineteenth century as an abolitionist, feminist, and orator. Dr. Grigsby will tell us about her book and accompanying museum exhibition (at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive), which explore the photographic cartes de visite portraits that Truth sold at lectures and by mail as a way of supporting herself and her cause.
“Cartes de visite, similar in format to calling cards, were a new mode of mass communication in the 1850s that quickly became relatively inexpensive collectibles. Truth could not read or write, but she had her statements repeatedly published in the press, enthusiastically embraced new technologies such as photography, and went to court three times to claim her legal rights. Uniquely among portrait sitters, she had her photographic carte de visite copyrighted in her own name and added the caption ‘I Sell the Shadow to Support the Substance. Sojourner Truth,’ foregrounding her self-selected proper name, her agency, and her possession of self.” (BAMPFA exhibition brochure)