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Chapter 4 - “A Wandering Maniac”

Sojourner Truth’s Demonic Marronage

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 November 2023

Mary Grace Albanese
Affiliation:
SUNY Binghamton
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Summary

Chapter 4, “‘A Wandering Maniac’: Sojourner Truth’s Demonic Marronage” turns to a prophet seldom associated with the Caribbean. Yet Sojourner Truth, who was born in 1797 in the predominantly Dutch Ulster County, grew up in a world shaped by Atlantic empires; steeped in African, Native American, Caribbean, Spanish, Dutch, and French histories; and shaking with the tremors of the Haitian Revolution. Her first language was Dutch, her early spiritual beliefs were African, and her community was influenced by transatlantic and Caribbean channels of trade, labor, and revolution. This chapter examines the energy practices of Truth’s creolized milieu within a broader discourse on Truth’s celebrated mobility, historicizing her fugitivity within a transnational history of female marronage throughout the Americas. This hemispheric history of wandering evokes what Sylvia Wynter has understood as the “demonic grounds” of Black women’s liberation. Suturing the demonic (an energy force that emerges from Wynter’s critique of nineteenth-century physics) with Caribbean practices of marronage (a kinetic practice of flight against the immobilizing energy demands of chattel slavery), Truth, I argue, not only is an Atlantic subject but also expands critical understandings of twentieth- and twenty-first-century Caribbean philosophy and specifically Black women’s energy in the Americas.

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  • “A Wandering Maniac”
  • Mary Grace Albanese, SUNY Binghamton
  • Book: Black Women and Energies of Resistance in Nineteenth-Century Haitian and American Literature
  • Online publication: 09 November 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009314268.005
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  • “A Wandering Maniac”
  • Mary Grace Albanese, SUNY Binghamton
  • Book: Black Women and Energies of Resistance in Nineteenth-Century Haitian and American Literature
  • Online publication: 09 November 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009314268.005
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • “A Wandering Maniac”
  • Mary Grace Albanese, SUNY Binghamton
  • Book: Black Women and Energies of Resistance in Nineteenth-Century Haitian and American Literature
  • Online publication: 09 November 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009314268.005
Available formats
×