Ain’t I a Woman – Sojourner Truth
I. Background of Truth’s Speech
Sojourner Truth was born with the given name Isabella Van Wagenen. Truth was born into slavery in 1979 in New York. She had some siblings but never had a bonding relationship with any of them, for they were sold as slaves. While in slavery, Truth’s master prearranged a wedding to a slave named Thomas; they bore five children, and some were sold. Because of the New York Anti-Slavery Law of 1827, Truth was released from slavery and became a free Black woman – something other enslaved blacks did not experience due to the fact that slavery was still active countrywide, and was not abolished until decades later. (The importance of Sojourner Truth's "Ain't I a Woman?" speech) Truth came to a utopian land in Massachusetts where she became an abolitionist and a member of the women’s suffrage movement, giving many different speeches about her personal experiences. The demand for Truth’s speech was the 1851 Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio, where the debate of whether women were equal to men was rising. The women’s movement decided that conventions were the best means of advocating and spreading their ideals. (AIN'T I A WOMAN?)
II. Analysis of the Speech
Sojourner Truth’s mission was to try and make the world a better place for all. Her speech was dedicated to showing that women were equal to men. She proved that women were equal to men by telling her life experiences of being a slave, and comparing those to the stories of men. “I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman?” (Truth) Truth’s use of this statement is incredibly effective. The first sentence indicates that Truth had done all things that men usually associate with being masculine, and that she had no trouble completing the tasks. One of the biggest arguments as to why women and men were not equal was because it was believed that women could not do the same physical labor...
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