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Equality for Race and Gender

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Sojourner Truth was a strong willed woman who wanted to be treated equally, as an African American, and a woman. Today, she is well known in history for her powerful speech, "Ain't I a Woman?" given at a women's rights convention about equality. Through Truth's appeals to ethos, allusions, and use of repetition, she conveys that everyone should be treated equally, no matter what race or gender.

She appeals to ethos in her speech by putting her emotions and opinions of how being treated differently has affected her. Truth had been through many hardships and misfortune in her lifetime, such as seeing most of her children get sold into slavery. "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!" (Truth) Truth shows her pain and regret when she mentions her children and why they were not here with her today. Another example of Truth appealing to ethos is when she compares herself to the other women that are treated right. "Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman?" She uses her emotions of grief, determination and desire as a way to try and connect with her audience and to show she was sensitive, caring, and just like any other woman.

Throughout Truth's speech, there was many allusions to God, Eve, and Christ. "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!" (Truth) Truth refers to Christ to show that men were not as important in his birth. By alluding to Eve, Truth also shows that women had power and strength. She uses allusions in her speech to demonstrate that even hundreds of years before their time, all women were significant and treated equally, no matter their race.

Lastly, throughout Truth's speech, she uses repetition to establish her point that even though she was a woman, she was not getting treated like the other women. During this time period, there was still slavery and hate against all Negros. Women of all races were also treated differently than men. Women had special jobs to do, while the men did hard labor. Although women were treated differently from men, white woman were superior to Negro women. In Truth's speech she compares herself to men and white women. When comparing herself to men, she explains how she does the same hard labor, can eat just as much, and even "bear the lash." (Truth) When Truth compares herself to white women, she states, "..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

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