AIN’T I A WOMAN? by Sojourner Truth

Oxford Teachers Academy ╚►

At the Oxford Teaching Academy (Professional Development from Oxford), EFL teachers not only learn from the course facilitator, but also from each other. Questions and issues of concern get looked at through the lens of theory and practice in a dynamic fashion. For example, here are some questions many of us have asked in our EFL teaching careers:

How do you teach English to teenagers? What are teenagers like?

What social, physical and emotional changes are they experiencing?

Why won’t they talk in my class?

One idea that I took away for use in my classes next year was historical drama with a contemporary connection. I want to bring the past and the present together, evolving from what once was, no longer is, and still is yet to be defined satisfactorily.

I will be able to integrate all 4 skills: reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

As you may have guessed from the title, women’s rights is my topic that I’ll be working with.

The following speech from Sojourner Truth will be my first class after we come back from the holidays. Instead of talking about “My Summer Vacation” we will be working with the question: Ain’t I A Woman?


Ain´t I A Woman
by Sojourner Truth

Delivered 1851 at the Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio

Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that ‘twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what’s all this here talking about?

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives 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 the lash as well!

And ain’t I a woman?

I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me!

And ain’t I a woman?

Then they talk about this thing in the head; what’s this they call it? [member of audience whispers, “intellect”] That’s it, honey.

What’s that got to do with women’s rights or negroes’ rights? If my cup won’t hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn’t you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?

Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ’cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again!

And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.

Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain’t got nothing more to say.

About profesorbaker

Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family.
This entry was posted in Authors, Black History Month, Culture, EFL, Reading, Reflections, Teaching Tips, TEFL Employment, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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