When I read this, it gives me the chills for some reason…
“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.”
- Delivered 1851 Women’s Convention, Akron, Ohio
“Ain’t I woman?” Mind you, I am a very white girl who has experienced nothing compare to the pain of this amazing woman.
Yet, this challenges me to dream, to face the harsh tides of those who disagree with me, and to work harder to change the world. The amazing thing is that she went through the work of small things — plowing, starving, and working. She did all of the quiet little things and then she had something to say. Ms. Truth gave up her children and because she sacrificed (even if it was forced sacrifice) she had a message.
What in the world am I doing?
What in the world are you doing?
I am writing in honor of Black History month, because the message of people who have suffered is a powerful message. What they did in their generation was incredible. But what could we do in our generation? Could we overturn Roe vs. Wade? Could we inspire married people to stay married? Could we give meaning and purpose to children and teenagers? Could we raise up our voices in prayer and beg God to help us and our economy?
I’ll put my hand to the plow- will you join me?
By JJ Day