Thursday, May 29, 2003

Ohio Moments


Sojourner Truth speaks out: 'Ain't I a woman?'

On May 29, 1851, feminist, abolitionist and ex-slave Sojourner Truth delivered her "Ain't I a woman?" speech at the Women's Rights Convention in Akron.

Truth rose to confront clergymen in the audience arguing against women's rights on biblical grounds. After refuting that women were biologically and intellectually inferior, the 6-foot-tall Truth struck at the heart of the religious argument: "That little man in black ... says that 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."

She concluded: "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!"

Truth's spontaneous speech electrified the feminist movement.

Rebecca Goodman

E-mail rgoodman@enquirer.com or call 768-8361.




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