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Ain’t I A Woman? Reverend Addie Wyatt on Sojourner Truth

“I born 13 children and seen almost all sold off into slavery.”

Addie L. Wyatt (March 8, 1924 – March 28, 2012) was a leader in the United States Labor movement, and a civil rights activist. Wyatt is known for being the first African-American woman elected international vice president of a major labor union, the Amalgamated Meat Cutters Union. Learn more about Addie here.

This speech was given at Harvard’s Divinity School on November 2, 2002. Watch the full speech here.

Sojourner Truth (1797 – November 26, 1883) was an American abolitionist and women's rights activist. Learn more about Sojourner here.

Excerpt of Speech Text:

Look at my arms.

I have plowed.

I have planted and I have gathered into barn and no man could head me.

And ain't I a woman?

I could work as much and eat as much as any man, when I get it.

And bear the lash as well, and ain't I a woman?

I born 13 children and seen almost all sold off into slavery.

And when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me.

And ain't I a woman?

I want to dedicate that famous, powerful poem from that great woman preacher Sojourner Truth.

God knows she has inspired my little life and have given me much courage in the time of distress, in the time, often, of great pain.

When I expect so much to happen, but I have to say to myself, ain't I a woman?

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