Nonfiction Rhetorical Analysis

By: Isabella Cicala

Main Ideas

" Speech to the American Equal Rights Association" was written by SoJourner Truth in New York City, May 9th, 1867. SoJourner Truth was an African American women's rights activist as well as an abolitionist. Truth was born in to slavery in New York, but managed to escape to freedom with her new born baby in 1826. Truth is delivering this speech to the American Equal Rights Association. In this speech she discuses freedom of all salves, and the rights of African Americans, specifically women, as they had no where near the rights that the black men had.


An example of figurative language that truth uses is:" So I am for keeping the thing going while things are stirring; because if we wait till it is still, it will take a great while to got it going again…" I think that by this she means that the issue of women's rights needs to be addressed at the same time as those of men. If not then the rights of women are likely to be over looked, forgotten, or even denied.

Authors purpose

I think Truth has a number of different reasons for giving this speech. However the main reason for this speech is that African American women be treated as well as the men. Truth says " There is a great stir about colored men getting their rights, but not a word about the colored women; and if colored men get their rights, and not colored women theirs, you see the colored men will be masters over the women, and it will be just as bad as it was before." This is very true. If only men get equal rights then slavery is not completely abolished!


I think that if Truth were alive today she would be pleased at how far equality has come, not just depending on race, but also gender. I believe that if it wasn't for abolitionists and activists like Truth that weren't able to speak the truth in public that the end to slavery and women rights would have been delayed significantly.