SoJourner Truth: Ain’t I a Woman?

Ain’t I a Woman? Sojourner Truth May 28-29, 1851

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 of 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 could 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 them 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? [Intellect, somebody
whispers] That’s it, honey. What’s that got to do with women’s rights or negro’s 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.

 Americans felt  slaves were men and women were white,  leaving  Black Women genderless–sounds familiar?    Sojourner’s speech encapsulated the sentiment that:  White women were not the only women, Black Women were WOMEN also.   One can imagine how many whites cared including  white feminists who duped  Black Women into supporting  white women’s rights.  In the end, they joined their men in oppressing black women and men.

sojourner_truth_michelle_obama_pelosi_SoJourner truth bust unveiled

More Quotes by Truth

There is a great stir about colored men getting their rights, but not a word about the colored women; and if colored men get their rights, and not colored women theirs, you see the colored men will be masters over the women, and it will be just as bad as it was before. So I am for keeping the thing going while things are stirring; because if we wait till it is still, it will take a great while to get it going again. ~ Sojourner Truth, Equal Rights Convention #Quote #Sojourner Truth

It is the mind that makes the body. ~Sojourner Truth #Quote

Religion without humanity is very poor human stuff. ~Sojourner Truth #Quote


Author: Angela Grant

Angela Grant is a medical doctor. For 22 years, she practiced emergency medicine and internal medicine. She studied for one year at Harvard T. H Chan School Of Public Health. She writes about culture, race, and health.

4 thoughts on “SoJourner Truth: Ain’t I a Woman?

  1. Appears Black Women were feminist long before the idea came to white women. History has never been kind to black people, erasing our past, and giving our glories to whites. Sounds like Harvard School of Public Health. I will never TRUST another history book.

    It is hard to find great quotes by acclaimed black leaders, why? I think we, blacks, have forgotten how to do things ourselves. We are relying on the same folks who stole our history to preserve it. Insanity and that was the beginning of Negro History week in 1926, started by Carter Woodson , a brilliant historian. The second week in February was chosen to honor the birthdays of two great leaders: Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln. More later about Black History Month….

  2. Black people need to develop a system of communication so we can organize for ACTION. Should I organize this system? Not sure if black people know what discrimination is anymore based on my experience at HSPH.

  3. If I wrote well and had more time , I would re-write the history books to include FACTS WITH EVIDENCE and not TRASH about the master culture that forms the foundation of our educational system which SUCKS!

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