Op/Ed By Juliane Malveaux
(TriceEdneyWire.com) – “Ain’t I A Woman”, railed Sojourner Truth, “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’ve bourne thirteen children and seen most all sold off and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman.”
The similarities and differences between Black and white women are captured in Sojourner Truth’s famous December 1851 speech. She movingly talks about the men who say women should be “helped into carriages, and moved over ditches, and have the best place everywhere”, while “nobody ever helps me into carriages or over mud puddles, or gives me any best place”. Both Black and white women cry a mother’s grief for the loss of a child, and both endure labor pains. Black women’s lives, while similar, are different and often disadvantaged because they lack the privilege that white women so easily take for granted and often fail to notice or remedy.