Women suffrage in the United States resulted from a lengthy struggle spearheaded by a coterie of black women activists and their like-minded male counterparts. Elizabeth Stanton, Maya Angelou, and Truth Sojourner are some of the notable women who defied all odds to speak out their minds on the stubborn thorn in the flesh of American society. While the latter women were writers and speakers, the former was a female politician who went down in history for organizing the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848. Truth Sojourner gave a series of speeches in Womens conventions asserting her faith in the new dawn that was in the offing. She particularly rebuked African American men who played a stumbling block to her endeavors. Truth Sojourner, in her three most remarkable speeches, assured women of victory in the fight for gender equality, seldom giving biblical anecdotes to prove her points.
Alice Walker refers to the efforts of women activists as Womanism. Truth Sojourners womanism was through her speeches to audiences made of different people all over the country. In one of the speeches titled Keeping the Thing Going While Things Are Stirring, Sojourner is delighted by the pace at which abolition movements were taking shape. She is even happier that the colored women are among the beneficiaries of these movements.
Emancipation of colored men was closer than that of the woman. Abolition of slavery assured Negroes of freedom, but it did not promise anything towards women suffrage. Sojourner Truth saw this as a good moment to couple women emancipation with slavery abolition, and therefore, heightened her activism towards the same.
Gender equality was supposed to be the next discussion after abolition of slavery. Sojourner Truth in her speech advocated for equal pay for equal work, an objective that would see free black women attain an equal social status as men.
In another speech titled What Time of Night It Is, Sojourner Truth tells women to be more resolute in their vision, since her activism was causing ill-feeling among different circles in the society.
In the same speech, she gives a Biblical anecdote of Queen Esthers resolve to ask for her rights in from of the king. Sojourner is inspired by this story which she uses to challenge women of color to fight for their rightful position in the American society.
Sojourner decries the frustration that her efforts were encountering from all angles. Even her Negros brothers were against her activism, something she terms hissin like a snake. She rebukes young black men who scolded her for taking side with the black women, and asks them to respect her as the bible instructs.
In another speech titled Aint I a Woman, Sojourner Truth reasserts her hope in the new dawn that was in the offing. Her tone towards her critics is harsher, a factor that draws more support towards her course.
Truth especially points the irony of a society that speaks of favoring a woman but does exactly the opposite. As a woman, Sojourner says that she ploughed and planted...and gathered into barns but no man came to her help.
In this speech, she mentions a stereotype that men propagate insinuating that women have no intellect. She dismisses this stereotype as irrelevant and lacks its place in a divide society. In the defense of her position, she mentions Eve, the first woman to be created and the changes she single-handedly brought to the world
In conclusion, Sojourner Truth, in the words of Alice Walker, is a Womanist whose contribution to emancipation of colored women is unrivalled. She gave out speeches to women audiences in US where she rebuked both black and white men for frustrating her efforts of fighting for women emancipation.
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