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Ain't I a Woman

For work I'm working on a bibliography of books about woman. Nothing more specific than that at the moment. I think I might title it "Ain't I A Woman" after Sojourner Truth's wonderful speech:

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.

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
tiwonge
Nov. 16th, 2006 09:54 pm (UTC)
In 4th grade, we each were assigned a person to do a report on for Black History Month. Mine was Sorjourner Truth.

It was really hard to find 4th-grade appropriate material about her. In fact, we didn't. And there was just one book we could find in the adult section of the library.

(I guess it's hard to find 30 different people to assign to a 4th grade class.)
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leonard cohen
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