Sojourner Truth 's Usage Of Personal Experience And Direct Address

1806 WordsMar 1, 20168 Pages
Several years before the Civil War, a battle that later became centered on equal rights, Sojourner Truth, a former slave, took a stand and gave her speech “Ain’t I a Woman?” in 1851 at the Women’s Rights Conference in Ohio. This is a remarkable speech, since it is given by a woman, specifically a woman of color, who is speaking in front of a crowd that are likely to be made up of or a majority-wise consist of white folk. In this essay, I will argue that Sojourner Truth’s usage of personal experience and direct address to the audience in order to call to attention that there is also another issue at hand that needs attention than just race equality but gender equality as well. I will be analyzing Truth’s speech alongside Frances Beal’s paper on the struggle of the black women slave. I hope to prove that Sojourner Truth is utilizing her speech as a weapon to guarantee that all races and gender obtain equality instead of some one-sided equality. Truth starts off her speech by giving herself a maternal role in spite of whom her crowd was and who she was labeled as. Before she gets to the main point of her speech, the former slave greets her audience by calling them “children” (Truth). The color of their skin or their gender did not matter to her. To Truth, all she saw was children and she was a mother who was adamant on giving them an earful. By calling her audience children, it gave Truth the opportunity to present herself with parental authority; a maternal figure was the

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