Updated: Apr 23, 2020
Ain't I a Woman
A speech delivered by Sojourner Truth
1851 | Women's Rights Convention
Old Stone Church
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.
Isabelle (Belle) Baumfree, or Sojourner Truth as many of us may know her, was an abolitionist and a women's rights activist during the 1800s. Her story has inspired me in so many ways, hence adopting the name Truth as she did. After learning that her son was sold illegally, Truth became the first black woman to win a case against a white man in court. She is most famous for the speech above, Ain't I a Woman, and when accused of being a man, Truth did not hesitate to #freethenipple! "I sell the shadow to support the substance." is a highly noted caption of Truth's used as a narrative on carte de visites, popularly traded photograph cards. Truth believed that it was her divine calling to go and testify the hope that was within her so she traveled preaching about the abolition of slavery and human rights.
Similar to Truth, I believe it is my divine calling to share my story as a testimony of inner healing and growth. What started out for me as an exploration of hands-on healing with Reiki energy, transformed into a dedicated passion for creativity and empowerment. What I enjoy most is helping others to connect with their authentic selves, which in my opinion, is the ultimate freedom in life.
I conclude with a question that I am currently reflecting upon myself: What are you doing to finish strong what God has set before you?
Until, next week, be well!