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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Why Ain't I?

     For my very first post I'd like to pay homage to the speech which inspired the title of my blog, Ain't I a Woman? by Sojourner Truth. Such a beautiful speech, such a beautiful name, such a beautiful woman. It is one of my favorite pieces. I strive to emulate this style in my own work. Poetic and powerful. Honest and unafraid. Memorable. And I like brevity. It too is beautiful. This is the standard I wish to be held to as I explore the question with you ~ ain't I a writer?

          Ain't I A Woman?

by Sojourner Truth
Delivered in 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.