Sell the shadow



Sojourner Truth used small cards as a fund-raising tool. They were called cartes de visite. They were about baseball-card size and featured a photograph of Sojourner Truth. They were inexpensive because you could do four or eight or ten at one time, then develop them and then just cut them up. All sorts of people had them. She used one caption over and over again on the cards: ‘I sell the shadow to support the substance – Sojourner Truth.’ What she meant by that was ‘I sell the shadow,’ which was the photograph, ‘to support the substance,’ which was her bodily substance.

(Nell Irvin Painter, in an interview about her biography Sojourner Truth: A Life, A Symbol)