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"Ain't I a Woman"

The text of Sojourner Truth's speech, which was given at a Women's Rights Convention in 1851.
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Sojourner Truth By Sojourner Truth
Delivered 1851
Women's Rights Convention, Akron, Ohio

Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be somethingout of kilter. I think that 'twixt the negroes of the South andthe women at the North, all talking about rights, the white menwill be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talkingabout?

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 givesme any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at myarm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, andno man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as muchand eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear thelash 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 withmy 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 theycall it? (A member of audience whispers, "intellect.")That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights ornegroes' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holdsa quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little halfmeasure full?

Then that little man in black there, he says women can't haveas much rights as men, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman! Where didyour Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From Godand a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn theworld upside down all alone, these women together ought to beable to turn it back, and get it right side up again! And nowthey is asking to do it, the men better let them.

Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain't gotnothing more to say.

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