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Ain't I A Woman?

By Sojourner Truth, speaking at the Akron, Ohio women's rights convention of 1851

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! 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 hear the lash as well. And ain't I a woman? I have borne 13 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 that they call it? [Intellect, someone whispers.] That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights or negro's rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let my little half-measure full.

Than that little man in back there, he says women can't have as much rights as men '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, 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.

Publisher's note: It is rumored in the community that when Sojurner came to the words, Look at me!... And ain't I a women?, she pulled up her blouse to reveal her breasts to the women in her audience.