Friday, April 1, 2016

Ain't I a Woman?

That man over there say
     a woman needs to be helped into carriages
and lifted over ditches
     and to have the best place everywhere.
Nobody ever helped me into carriages
     or over mud puddles
     or gives me a best 
place...
And ain't I a woman?
     Look at me
Look at my arm!
     I have plowed 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 to it —
and bear the lash as well
     and ain't I a woman?
I have born 13 children
     and seen most all sold into slavery
and when I cried out a mother's grief
     none but Jesus heard me...
And ain't I a woman?
     that little man in black there say
a woman can't have as much 
rights as a man
     cause Christ wasn't a woman
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
together women ought to be able to turn it
     rightside up again.

~Sojourner Truth, 1797-1883


After escaping slavery, Sojourner Truth made human rights her life's mission, traveling extensively to preach her message. This poem was taken from the speech that Sojourner Truth delivered to the Women's Convention in Akron, Ohio, in 1851. Even now, many are moved by her words, including myself.

Please read my Challenge Reveal Post for insight on the poetry that I chose to share here.




32 comments:

  1. Such powerful words. She was indeed a woman, and that is something to be proud of, not a shameful thing. Sadly, there are still those who believe women to be inferior.

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    1. When I first read this poem, I wept. I was about fourteen, but I understood the courage that she had, and the importance of her words.

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  2. I am sure I have read this piece before but it was nice to be able to be reminded of this strong woman and these very strong words. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thank you, Beth Ann. Indeed, I read this poem, from time to time to be reminded of our power.

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  3. Amazing name and an amazing lady.

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    1. Her name was originally Isabella Baumfree. She changed it after escaping from slavery in 1826. Thereafter, she began her mission of human rights, including women.

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  4. Thanks for this beautiful poem. She was indeed a strong woman. This is the first time I read this and was touched by it too. Her suffering has given her such strength. A great start to the A to Z Challenge.
    Have a great weekend with Bill and the babies.
    Hugs, JB

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    1. Thank you, Julia. I am glad that this touched you.
      Enjoy your weekend, too.
      Big hugs!

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  5. What a powerful poem!! Thank you for sharing it.

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    1. I am glad that you enjoyed this poem. It is a favourite of mine.

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  6. I haven't read this poem before and it is rich with powerful words and wisdom. I love it! Thank you for sharing, this month is sure to be good reading here!
    Josie Two Shoes
    from Josie's Journal

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    1. I hope that the poetry I share will be moving or at least fun!

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  7. Annie... An Awesome way to start your challenge !!

    ♥♥♥♥♥ to you Sojourner ~~~~~~ Laura

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    1. Thank you, Laura. I am not surprised that you like this one. ❤

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  8. That is just brilliant, so powerful and moving.

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    1. Sojourner Truth was amazing, and her power lives on.

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  9. Wow! I have chills. Thank you for stopping by my blog. (Hope this comment isn't being repeated - I seemed to have a computer glitch there) Anyway, for anyone else interested in reading my rock (mostly) band trivia, I’m on the A to Z Challenge list at #1340 today. Best wishes! - Darla M. Sands
    Awakening Dreams and Conquering Nightmares with a Pen

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  10. Gave me goosebumps - very powerful stuff.

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  11. I am ashamed that I had never read this before. Great start to the a-z.

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    1. Ellen, we learn something new every day.

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  12. Love this! Looking forward to more!!

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  13. Amazingly relevant after all the years.

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  14. It makes me sad and angry, and that's a good thing, because then i want to do something about it. It's a shame, all these years later, we still have so far to go.

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    1. Mimi, we have to keep working on rights for people and animals, too.

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  15. Sojourner Truth was amazing and her words are worth reading and remembering! Great first post for A to Z.

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  16. I love, love, love that poem. It's so true too.

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  17. So powerful and just as relevant today as then with so much prejudice in our world. Great for the first poem in the challenge. Love and hugs, janet

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  18. That was so powerful. It is the one problem I have with religion often too -- that it pushes women aside. I suppose a lot of that stems from misinterpreting God's words, but still... it's hurtful to be ignored. Dismissed. We are half of the population!

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