Essay On Sojourner Truth

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Sojourner Truth, formerly known as Isabella Baumfree, was a famous women’s rights activist, most commonly known for her speech in 1851. Taking place in Akron, Ohio, Sojourner stood up in front of the Women’s Convention and delivered an impressive rebuttal to white men’s claim of denying the rights of both women and slaves, all done extemporaneously. The speech not only points out the sexism and racism present during those times, but also the strong hypocrisy between men’s view of how to treat a lady, versus how black women were treated – and of that, the title “Ain’t I a woman?” came to be.
Being built around two central issues, the speech focuses on rights for women and rights for slaves. And as black woman, Sojourner has had more than enough
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Twice she points out someone in the crowd in front of her, accusing him of an opinion and making him stand for the white patriarchy working against her. Then she accepts help from another when a word escapes her (“…what’s this they call it? [member of audience whispers, “intellect”] That’s it honey.”) It’s clear that this is a very personal speech, targeting issues that are most relevant to Sojourner. By pointing out in the audience, she is making the issues more real, dragging her equals to her side with a simple finger towards a man. The act identifies a real enemy, not just empty talk, as if saying “the ones denying our rights are among us, right there”. This makes the men in the audience uncomfortably aware of their genders power over these decisions. An example of this would be when Sojourner is talking about religion. Being a woman of Christian belief, this is another issue close to her, and it is a faith she shares with her countrymen. Pointing out a man in the masses, she says that he does not believe women can have as much rights as men, because “Christ wasn’t a woman”. Truth follows this up with a reference to the biblical texts, stating that Christ came from God and a
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