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How does Sojourner Truth's narrative reflect issues of women's rights?

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sms82 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 25, 2011 at 8:32 AM via web

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How does Sojourner Truth's narrative reflect issues of women's rights?

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

Posted October 26, 2011 at 2:44 AM (Answer #1)

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Truth's narrative is powerful because it speaks to the condition of being Black in America at a time when slavery was a part of the social and political dialectic.  Yet, she also articulated a condition from her narrative that spoke to what it meant to be a woman.  Truth's real power resided in her ability to bridge the racial and gender divides.  For those who believed in abolition, but not in the rights of women, Truth was able to speak to these individuals and convince them of the flaw in their thinking.  For those who believed in women's rights, but held attitudes of racial inferiority towards women of color, Truth spoke to them and convinced them of the flaw in their thinking.  In the end, this becomes the reason why her narrative addresses the issue of women's rights, as she understood that true liberation does not stop at one barrier being eliminated, but rather multiple ones being removed until individuals are not trapped by social or political stratification.  In this, Truth was radical in her time period and her thinking and this is what makes her a speaker for inclusion of all rights in a pluralist and democratic society.

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