In 2018 we still find ourselves asking the same question activist and abolitionist, Sojourner Truth, poised to a crowd in 1863: Ain't I a woman?
In the era of pink pussy hats, women marching and hashtag #MeToo many are celebrating the new women's power movement. Unfortunately, Black Women are omitted from this movement. For years Black Women have marched, organized and given birth to many a movement (including the current #MeToo movement) yet in 2018 we still struggle to have our womanhood recognized. We have always persisted. We have never needed recognition or applause. We have a legacy of asking the question, Ain't I a woman but our work has never been impacted by society's answer. We press forward and we continue to rise.
An excerpt from Sojourner Truth's 1863 Speech
“Ain’t I a Woman?” as recounted by Frances Gage, in 1863
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?