Ain't I A Woman?
by Sojourner Truth
Delivered 1851 at the Women's Convention in Akron, Ohio
Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out
of kilter. I think that 'twixt the negroes of the South and the
women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in
a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about?
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.
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