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
This text is part of the Internet Modern History
Sourcebook. The Sourcebook is a
collection of public domain and
copy-permitted texts for introductory
level classes in modern European and World
Sojourner Truth (1797 – November
26, 1883) was the self-given name, from
1843 onward, of Isabella Baumfree, an
African-American abolitionist and women's
rights activist. She wrote an
autobiography, with the help of Olive
Gilbert, titled Narrative of Sojourner