“Ain’t I a Woman?” Speech Transcript – Sojourner Truth
Sojourner Truth: (00:14)
Well children … Well there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that betwixt the Negroes of the South and the women at the North all talking about rights these white men going to be in a fix pretty soon.
Sojourner Truth: (00:35)
But what’s all this here talking about? 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 helped me into carriages, or over mud puddles, or gives me any best place. Ain’t I a woman?
Sojourner Truth: (00:58)
Look at me, look at my arms, I have plowed, and planted, and gathered in the barns, and no man can 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 bear 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?
Sojourner Truth: (01:56)
Then they talk about this thing in the head … What’s this they call it? What’s this they call it?
Sojourner Truth: (02:02)
Intellect, that’s it honey. Intellect. What’s that got to do with women’s rights and Negroes’ rights? If my cup will hold but a pint, and yours will hold a quart, wouldn’t you be mean not to let me have my little half measure fool?
Sojourner Truth: (02:31)
And then that man back there in the black … That man back in the black says that women can’t have as much rights as men because Christ wasn’t a woman. Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman. Man had nothing to do with him. Now if the first woman that God ever made was strong enough to turn this 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 and you men better let them.
Sojourner Truth: (03:32)
Obliged to you. Thank you for letting me speak to you this morning. Now old Sojourner ain’t got nothing more to say.