Wednesday, May 18, 2011

And Ain't I a Woman?

Came up on her speech today as I was doing my class work...always worth reading...

Ah, but Sojourner speaks the truth in her speech…short and “sweet.” It’s the kind of speech that get’s your attention whether you agree or not. I can see her throwing her arm up as she says, “Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted and gathered into barns, and no man could head me!” She describes the situation in her opening. She establishes an authority and connection as she starts out, “Well, children…

Posted it here for you to refresh your memory. I'm sure you've read it before.


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.

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Timely Poem

Received an email from George this morning...I can't read it without crying...A few days before Mother's Day when my sister's and I are struggling...thinking about Moma...I think she spoke to us...

He wrote:

Found this clipping in one of your mother's books this morning:

Thank you, Moma...what a lovely poem to pass on. I am so thankful you are free from pain.