Essay: Stand: Sojourner Truth and John Brown "

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¶ … Stand:

Sojourner Truth and John Brown

"Ain't I a Woman" and "John Brown's Final Speech" are both appeals for understanding from two individuals who knew they were right and refused to back down. Though one speaker was a black woman speaking to an appreciative crowd and the other was a white man speaking to the court that had condemned him to die, they both shared an understanding of humanity and individual rights that would not be accepted by the general public for over one hundred years. Both speeches are short, direct and spoken with the conviction of someone who had learned the hard way how to fight for a just cause.

In "Ain't I a Woman," Sojourner Truth points out two ironies in the treatment she has received in her life. First she marvels at the attitude of white men toward white women -- how the women must be coddled and given the best of everything. As a former slave, Sojourner was never in her life given this sort of treatment, and, as she says, "Ain't [she] a woman?" Then she points out the hard labor and suffering she has endured. Even if she didn't deserve coddling just for being a woman, surely she earned it by surviving hardships that would have destroyed many of the men in the room. And why doesn't she get the treatment that she as a woman should be entitled to? Because she's a black woman.

She then goes on to talk about the injustices women of her day faced, namely a lack of education, and points out the absurdity of the logic given by men… [END OF PREVIEW]

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