For a few days now the words of Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a woman”, specifically as proclaimed by Alfre Woodard, have been resonating in my heart and mind (words shared by Truth herself here in my new home of Ohio). Sojourner Truth…radical freedom fighter who fought for both gender and racial equality—she was a voice in the wilderness that demanded that all people be respected, affirmed, and treated as people.
Sojourner Truth…woman, mother, slave, prophet, abolitionist, activist, preacher…a person.
At a time where her humanity was questioned and doubted, her rant is a declaration of the remembering and re-membering of her worth, chutzpah, and personhood…a challenge for all of us to help make the world right side up again—a transformation sparked by solidarity and community. Truth’s spirit is echoed in Alice Walker’s Celie in “The Color Purple”… “I may be poor, I may be black, I may even be ugly…but dear G-d, I’m here.”
In the face of the hurtful and marginalizing messages we get from society of unrealistic and inhuman expectations regarding our bodies and identities….in spite of the dehumanizing messages we give ourselves of not being good enough…may today and always be opportunities to claim and reclaim and re-re-claim Truth’s and Celie’s passion… “ain’t I a woman…ain’t I a person”…I’m here, I’m here, I’M HERE! Amen, que asi sea.