Picture of the Day: July 13 | HistoryNet
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Picture of the Day: July 13

6/12/2006 • Picture of the Day


Sojourner Truth Speaks
In May 1851, freed slave and abolitionist Sojourner Truth attended a national women’s convention in Akron, Ohio, where the female delegates were heckled by men in the audience who claimed that men were superior to women. Frances Gage, president of the convention, recorded Sojourner Truth’s words that day. ‘Dat man ober dar say dat women needs to be helped into carriages and lifted ober ditches, and to hab de best place everywhar. Nobody eber helps me into carriages, or ober mud-puddles, or gibs 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 de lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen chilern, and seen ’em mos’ all sold into slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman?’ Sojourner Truth’s words, according to Gage, ‘turned the sneers and jeers of an excited crowd into notes of respect and admiration.’

Photo: Library of Congress

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