Ain't I a Woman? Sojourner Truth
1. Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that twixt
2. the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be
3. in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about?
4. That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and
5. to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles,
6. or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and
7. planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as
8. 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?
9. I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my
10. mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?
11. Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it? (member of audience whispers,
12. "intellect"). That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights or negroes' rights? If my cup
13. won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little
14. half-measure full?
15. Then that little man in black there, he says women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ
16. wasn't a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God
17. and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him. If the first woman God ever made was strong
18. enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it
19. back, and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.
20. Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain't got nothing more to say.
Truth, Sojourner. "Ain't I a Woman?" Women's Convention. Akron, Ohio. 29 May 1851. AmericanRhetoric.com. Web. 17 Aug. 2016.
In lines 6-7 "I have ploughed and planted... could head me!" the author emphasizes her experiences through the use of