What conclusion can I draw in connecting the lack of rights articulated in Jefferson's "Declaration of Independence" with Truth's "Ain't I a Woman?"

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that your conclusion could very well be that Truth picks up where Jefferson leaves off.  Jefferson's document was groundbreaking and radical for its time.  Yet, a formidable argument against it can be raised in how the Constitutional Convention edited out the parts of the original writing where Jefferson called for an abolition to slavery, thus expanding the reach of rights to more people.  Truth's work might be the historical addition to Jefferson in that she is demanding that the same "declaration" that gave birth to the freedom of white men in America should apply to all people, including people of color and women.  In Jefferson, the initial articulation of voice is begun, while in Truth this is amplified to include more people, seeking to continue what Jefferson's work started.  I think that Truth becomes the next in a long line of people that sought to add on to Jefferson's historical reconfiguration of what America is and should be in terms of seeking to continue to give rights to those who are denied, giving voice to those who are silenced.  It is here where I think that a strong conclusion can be drawn between Jefferson's document starting a process that Truth's work continues.


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