Thursday, January 31, 2008

Black History Month

Tomorrow marks the beginning of Black History Month.

So tell about an African American who has influenced you.

My pick is Sojourner Truth. I love her famous "Ain't I a Woman?" speech.

At the time people were saying God made women for protecting. That He made them weak. That He meant for them to be honored. Yet what they often really thought was that He made white women for such treatment. Consider Sojourner's words:

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 them 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?

1 comment:

Erin said...

I'd never read that speech before, Sandi. Very moving.

The African Americans that inspire me are the little girls that had to walk to their newly integrated school under armed (white) police escort amidst screaming angry mobs. How petrifying.

But those sweet little girls walked on, maybe with a vague idea that they were taking a stand for their entire race. Maybe they just wanted to go back to their "safe" colored school and be normal.

I'm inspired by their willingness to do a hard, scary, uncomfortable thing. They were probably wondering if they would survive the day.