About the Speech
Title: "A Speech to the American Equal Rights Association"
Date: May 9, 1867
Location: New York City
Details: Sojourner Truth is speaking during a time of slave emancipation, and she fears for African American women across the nation and states that they deserve just as much freedom as the men receive.
Main Idea: "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."
- Sexual & Racial Equality
- Advocating for the specific right of women owning their own money and being able vote
- "Independence" for women
- This quote from the speech uses the rhetorical device of mesodiplosis, emphasizing the word "as much as a man" and parallel structure to increase the emphasis. Truth uses this to point out a double standard society has when it comes to women by stating that she should have just as much rights as a man since she is just as responsible for her actions as a man is. It is a key point within her argument and one that addresses the common hypocrisy when it comes to gender roles and expectations within society.
- Truth uses a powerful simile and compares the relationship of men and women to slave and slave master. It paints a vivid picture of the mentality of many men during this time, who may have been abusive and demanding to women. But ultimately, it shows that men believed women were a far more inferior gender; Truth however, instead of back-lashing and shaming men, finds a median and shows sympathy to them because she can understand the difficulty of having to let go of power.