Tag Archives: women’s rights

Frederick Douglass – Intelligent

Intelligent – having or showing intelligence, especially of a high level.

Frederick Douglass is one of the most well-known human rights leaders in the anti-slavery movement and the first African-American citizen to hold a high U.S. government rank. He is also a famed author and orator.

Born into slavery around 1818, Douglass was selected to live in the home of his plantation owners, one of whom they say could have been his father. Eventually Frederick was sent to Hugh Auld’s Baltimore home, which is where he learned to read and write. Auld forbade his wife from teaching Frederick anymore, but he continued to have a zeal for learning.

Later, Douglass became an abolitionist as well as a women’s rights activist. He published three versions of his autobiography during his lifetime. He also produced some abolitionist newspapers: The North StarFrederick Douglass WeeklyFrederick Douglass’ PaperDouglass’ Monthly and New National Era. In 1848, he was the only African American to attend the first women’s rights convention in New York.

When I think of Frederick Douglass I think of intelligence. Is there any surprise why?

One and God make the majority. – Frederick Douglass

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Sojourner Truth – Courageous

file.jpegCourageous – not deterred by danger or pain; brave.

If we want to talk about courage, we want to talk about Sojourner Truth. Sojourner Truth was an abolitionist and women’s rights activist and is remembered for her voice in support of those things. After being born a slave and having at least three of her children sold away from her, Truth developed the strong character and voice she is known for. She escaped slavery and became involved in evangelical religion as well as abolitionist work.

Truth was a passionate, courageous speaker whose legacy lives on today. One of her best known and most powerful speeches was her “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech, delivered at a women’s convention in Ohio in 1851.

Read below and see why:

 

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.

Truth is powerful and it prevails.—Sojourner Truth

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History

I am often amazed when I think about my great grandmother. She will be 91 soon, and obviously that’s amazing. And she’s a healthy 91. She has a great memory, she knows exactly who everyone is, and she can tell you about her childhood as well as the latest news if she needs to. She’s doing good. She’s a sure example that whatever they did when she was younger worked, seeing as the newer generations aren’t living that long, but generational differences I will save for another day.

One of the things that most impresses me about my great grandmother’s life is that she has lived through so much history. She’s seen women have more rights. She’s seen the first biracial president. She’s seen a woman run for president. She’s even seen her great great grandson and how much personality he has at only two years of age.

History. She’s lived it in almost every since that we tend to think of the word. And it’s so interesting to think that there were probably days that she had to give up her bus seat, and now she has a bus that comes to her house and picks her up. I can’t even imagine what it feels like to live the reality that you had always hoped and prayed.

And maybe she didn’t pray for it for herself, but for her children or her grandchildren. It must feel pretty good to not only see them live out that reality, but live it out right there with them. And that, I must say, is pretty cool.

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