Sojourner Truth Essay

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Sojourner Truth's Historic Speech "Ain't I a Woman?" By Carbatonic Funk Sojourner Truth's "Ain't I a Woman" is considered one of the fundamental models of suffrage-era speechmaking. Featuring themes and phrases that continue to resonate powerfully with modern women, "Ain't I a Woman" has found its place in the collective consciousness of America for over 150 years. Although various versions of the speech exist, Truth's main thematic concerns prevail no matter what the transcription. Regardless of the varied transliterations, Truth's essential ideas have inspired audiences across the world. Born in upstate New York in 1797, the first 30 years of Sojourner Truth's life were lived as a slave named Isabella Baumfree. The second youngest of either 12 or 13 children, Truth lived in the damp mud-soaked cellar of her master. As a result of the smaller northern landholdings, houses in the north needed fewer slaves than those in the south. Eventually Truth became a mother to numerous children, most of whom were sold as slaves to various families. In 1826, when her master refused to honor his offer of freedom in exchange for her hard work, Truth took her youngest child and fled. In 1827, she attained legal freedom pursuant to a New York statute. Truth moved to New York City and became involved in organizations assisting in the attainment of rights for both blacks and women. Though it was well known that Truth could neither read nor write, she overcame such limitations by becoming a powerfully adept activist fighting racial discrimination, and persuasively championing for blacks' rights to vote. Additionally, being a fervent Christian, Truth gained oration experience through her predilection for preaching. Combined with her imposing, nearly Amazonian frame, melodious voice and notorious love for singing, Truth was often seen by white reformers as being "natural,

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