February 11, 2010

Black History Month

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 7:20 pm by Gina

Readers!

Can you believe its February 11th and I haven’t done a post about Black History Month yet? Well get ready because I’m about to go Black History Post CRAZY! ha, that sentence barely made sense.

I want to begin with one of my favorite speeches/poems of all times- “Ain’t I a Woman?” This not only focuses on African-Americans (I say that because many people affected by this speech were Africans) it also focuses on Women.

Isabella Baumfree, known to most as Sojourner Truth was a powerful Woman’s Rights Activist, Abolitionist, Minister and Ex-Slave. This speech was given in 1851 at a women’s rights convention in Ohio (my home!) I encourage you to read the speech in its entirety, it really is worth it! (via)

Ain’t I a Woman?

“Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that ‘twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. 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 helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! 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 bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen 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 this they call it? [member of audience whispers, “intellect”] That’s it, honey. What’s that got to do with women’s rights or negroes’ rights? If my cup won’t hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn’t you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?

Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ’cause 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.

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.

Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain’t got nothing more to say.”

Wow. Now imagine yourself there. Imagine the volatility of the time. Imagine what a scene this powerful speech would cause!

For now, in 2010, lets focus on the last paragraph: “These women together ought to be able to turn it [the world] back and get it right side up again!” I believe that this is true. We all know the power of a woman’s will- imagine it combined!!

Happy BHM!!
~Gina Marie

2 Comments »

  1. gina peart said,

    What a revolutionary this woman was! It is hard for me to imagine 1851 – a women’s rights convention and a black woman at that taking a stand for our freedom…What a powerful speech that was and i wonder what kind of harassment this woman had to endure fighting for what was right. She was fighting for the rights of her children and the rights of all women to come after her whatever the color of skin. Bravo, Ms. Baumfree.

  2. Amanda Gabrielle said,

    Love this poem. It’s come up in almost every english or history class that I have ever had in school and the more I read it, the more I truly appreciate it.


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