From our family photo album
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.
First world problems
I have been seduced to the Dark Side. In all my years at work I have never had anything to do with any work coffee maker until now. Because of having remodeled the building and adding a break room to all the floors that has all the accoutrements of a real kitchen and café seating. They took all the dept small refrigerators and in dept coffee makers away two weeks ago and made each dept buy a new safety approved machine. Our dept bought a Keurig 2.0. I’m doomed.
When I went up north last weekend D bought a new one on sale at Fred Meyers and things like hot cocoa and tea to use in it. I got hooked on the damn stuff. Before I could safely ignore the machines at work and make my tea every morning while others lined up to make offerings to the shrine of the goddess Caffeina.
But I came home and went on Amazon and saw the choice in k cups. I’m doomed, doomed I say. I now have a box of that excellent cocoa, a large box of Twinings English Breakfast and a box of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup and because it was 37 degrees on the walk to the bus and I still haven’t thawed out, it may be lunch.
I never thought I would use it since the disposable cups aren’t great for recycling but it sure is a lot less likely for me to make a mess at my desk. At home I will stick to loose leaf or tea bags and cans of soup but for work it seems a better choice and harder to be invaded by the bugs we sometimes get here.
I am washing wet clothes cast off by refugees who crossed the Sea of Death, the new name for channel only 4 nautical miles wide that separates Turkey and Lesbos. A tiny pink long-sleeved shirt with a boat neck, for a girl, size 3 months. The channel was relatively safe in the spring and summer, even though people were pushed into black rubber dinghies wearing illegal life jackets that would not float. A pair of leggings with feet, grey with pink, orange, brown, white, and blue polka-dots, to be worn over diapers. North winds have made the journey treacherous.
I am not on the front lines, pulling wet children alive and dead from the sea. I think my heart would break. Tiny black stretch pants with nylon sequined bows at the knees, size 2 years. My friends were in the harbor when an overcrowded fishing boat collapsed, throwing 300 people…
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