No Longer 3/5ths of a Person: a’n’t I a woman?

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Harriet Tubman was a great woman and she deserves every honor we can get for her accomplishments, trials, tribulations, and love for her people.  She was born a slave in America and decided to free slaves during a time when she would have been hung, raped, and murdered just like Mary Turner.  Sojourner Truth said, “Ain’t I a Woman?”  Yes, you are and so was Mary Turner, Maria Stewart, Ida B. Wells, Mary McLoed Bethune, Angela Davis, Josephine Baker, Madam C.J. Walker, Maya Angelou, Audre Lorde and so many more.

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Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment by Patricia Hill Collins

Additionally, WHITE FRAGILITY is out here and as long as it’s OK to keep blacks happy on the low, then things will never change.  This honor is in your face and tells people that race was and continues to be an issue and it needs to be acknowledged and she needs to be acknowledged along with others that paved the way, invented, protested, demanded, and died to be equal, represented, and seen as so much more than 3/5ths of a person.

Do you know that white fragility is the reason why Donald Trump is winning in the polls?  The belief that white Americans are under siege and the need to take back to make it great again.  But it was only great for them…I think they forgot about that.  It is not universalism like whites would like to think and really believe.  Whites still hold social and institutional power over People of Color.

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Additionally, Sojourner Truth wanted acknowledgment that she was a woman, a black women.  That she deserved to be respected, cared for, and treated with courtesy and honor.  I wrote a letter to Sojourner Truth for my Black Woman Course at Temple last year and I got a chance to say to her and all of the black and African women of the past that, I remember you, I love you, and I SEE YOU!  I see all of you and I thank you for everything that you have done for us and this is my praise to you.  We are still managing, battling, and fighting gender and race to not be forgotten.  The invisibility of black women is real and they wanted to be heard and seen like us in the present.

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My Letter to Sojourner Truth

My Mother, Mary

My mother died on July 24, 2015….a day before my birthday this year

She had seven children which consisted of four males and three females and she died a pauper

In 2015 the only thing that allowed her any comfort in life was the little rights she received as a black woman

She depended on the government to ensure her kids were fed and housed throughout the years

While the demons of her past followed her around, picking at her rights as a black woman

She was born in the 40s and I guess around that time blacks were considered free in the U.S.

But as she grew up in a house with eleven other siblings the rights of a black woman in America became clearer to her

She was invisible to a world that saw her as a black woman with no discernable features, characteristics, and brand

A reproducer of supposedly black revolutionaries for the Black Panther Party and a liability to the State of Pennsylvania that had to supply our needs

She wasn’t a black woman anymore, but an oddity…no longer 3/5ths of a human, but not quite a fully functioning American with confidence in her rights

Sojourner Truth

I can’t imagine growing up as a slave in a country that considers you 3/5th of a human

A time where hard work and opportunities were not the same as it means in 2015 as a black woman

A mother of a lost civilization that continues to be further from your memory as you become invisible

To everyone whose color is paler than yours and whose gender is given a boost before yours

The demand to plough, plant and gather into barns was a duty that superseded the black men

Eat as much and bear the lash just as much as a man, but still be seen as a commodity…a reproducer for more slaves

You bared thirteen children and most of them were sold off, the cries of a black mother that started from your womb through your mouth, but fell on deaf ears

You ask, a’n’t I a woman?

According to the white male patriarchal system you aren’t even good enough to help into carriages and “ober” ditches

According to the white females that you cared for and mothered you are a breast milk supplier, and a maid

According to the black males that plough, plant, and gather a little less than you….you are a womb and another a burden to even mention your rights

Who wants to hear from an old slave women with a handful of babies left to raise and a voice that speaks unintelligent?

Who are you to defy the black man and demand your rights as well?

To have black men with rights mean we can overcome under their umbrella

Our rights are connected through them and we don’t to need complain or have voices

Because they will have our backs and what they receive will eventually be given to us…one day

From my Mouth to your Ears, Sojourner Truth

It is 2015 and a lot of things have changed in this country and we have more freedoms than our ancestors

A black President graces the steps of the White House and black women and men are running businesses, raising children, and working at will

As a black woman my title gives me authority, but my gender and class doesn’t earn me much these days

I may be considered middle class, a degree, and shiny car to drive but those things are material and doesn’t mean much because we as black women are still invisible

Our black men received their rights and as you mentioned in your speech, “they go about idle, strutting up and down” because of those rights

It’s not as powerful as the white male patriarch, but it allows them to forget about our needs sometimes

Our field is the boardrooms, classrooms, and the homes and to voice our opinions about our woes falls under this new umbrella called, Black Lives Matter

Sojourner, your concerns to just give black men their rights and not black women may have fell on deaf ears, but the results of your insight are being shown every day in 2015

Black women are undervalued and underserved

We are invisible and continue to be ridiculed by everyone that’s above us in status

And what hurts the most is the predictions you spoke on came true

You said, “if it is not a fit place for women, it is not a fit place for men to be there”

Our men should have realized that we are a package deal and our rights fall under the umbrella of humanity

Somewhere they forgot about that…

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Sources:

Please click on the links attached to highlighted and bold names above.  Thank you!

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