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Contents > Author > Sojourner Truth > Ain't I a Woman? 1797- 1883
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Sojourner Truth
Ain't I a Woman?
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Well, children, where there is so much racket, there must be something
out of kilter, I think between the Negroes of the South and the women
of the North -- all talking about rights -- the white men will be in a fix
pretty soon. But what's all this 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
helps me any best place. And ain't I a woman?

Look at me! Look at my arm. I have plowed, I have planted and I have
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 man -- when I could get it --
and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne children
and seen most of them sold into slavery, and when I cried out with a
mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me. And ain't I a woman?

He talks about this thing in the head. What's that they call it?

Intellect. That's it, honey.

What's intellect got to do with women's rights or black folks' 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?

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 that they are asking to do it,
the men better let them.


(Speech given by Sojourner Truth, ex-slave and abolitionist,
at the Women's Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio in 1851.
As reported by Frances Gage, President of the Convention.)
 

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