Sojourner Truth, “Aint I a Woman?”

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Expo- WIW Response Paper
Dr. Johnson
4/1/12
Sojourner Truth, “Aint I A Woman?”
Sojourner Truth’s speech, “Aint I a Woman,” is an in depth, personal account of slave life and the cycle of self-discovery by which Truth acknowledges the ills and dynamics of race, class and gender have upon an African American woman living in America. She intersects axes of analysis and questions the dominant image of femininity which was limited to the most elite, white women in society at that time. Throughout the speech, Truth explains the heavy burdens black women slaves are forced to carry on a day to day basis. The oppression she endures is conveyed to the reader through firsthand accounts given by Truth. The inhumane actions of the oppressors towards African American women reveals the cruelty many white males, predominately slaveholders in the 19th century possessed and how their unjust behavior contributed to Truth’s underlying motivation to escape the struggles of the south and seek liberty. In her speech, Truth addresses the concerns of women’s civil liberties and racial discrimination at a Women’s convention in 1851. Truth’s reason behind the speech was to convey that women and blacks are equivalent to white men and that they do not deserve to be perceived to be inferior to their male counter-parts. She takes on an informal nature to appeal to public values in her anti-slavery listeners and uses appeals to maternal sentiment, allegorical questions, and references to the bible to assist her in establishing getting her motive across. Her listeners were prepared and geared up to talk about this subject matter, and were enthusiastic to hear from presenters and experts as well. Nevertheless, in order to see a change made, hard work is required which often times does not exist without some form of sacrifice. Sojourner Truth illustrated the hardships she underwent through her shared story of strength and struggle in the center of deliberate impertinence, strenuous toil,...
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