August 4, 2021

Ain’t I a Woman: Sojourner Truth

Isabella Baumfree, also known as Sojourner Truth (1797-1883), was born into slavery, sold at the age of nine and endured humilation, hardship and abuse for more than four decades. Her activism in women’s issues made her a hero. In 1851, she delivered her famous speech, “Ain’t I A Woman?” to the Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio.

Sojourner Truth 1870

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman?

Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman?

I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman? Then they talk about this thing in the head; what’s this they call it? [member of audience whispers, “intellect”] That’s it, honey. What’s that got to do with women’s rights or negroes’ rights? If my cup won’t hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn’t you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?

Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ’cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him. If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.

Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain’t got nothing more to say.”

photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

Covid-19
More challenges to our efforts to celebrate the Centennial and Centennial Plus of women’s right to vote. We are committed to celebrating safely and ask you to join us in that effort. Outdoor events will continue as planned, but mask wearing may be requested if the tour groups are especially large. Slide shows will have limited seating to allow social distancing. Mask wearing is expected. Febb Burn Banquet will go on, but all those attending in person must be fully vaccinated. Masking will be necessary except when seated at your table or actively eating or drinking. We are diligently pursuing a virtual option for those who have not yet or cannot get vaccinated. Please check this site periodically as this policy may be updated as necessary.
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