Journal Entry #6
Final Journal Entry

Here is the link to the Work I had already completed on my Multi-Genre Research Project when the project was cancelled. I hope to earn some credit for this by substituing for the Week 14 Journal Entry, Thank You. :)




Journal Entry #5

Week 13

Reading:
Angelina Grimke (NAAL pages 758-761)
Sojourner Truth (NAAL pages 761-762)

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Sojourner Truth Angelina Grimke The Grimke Sisters: Sarah and Angelina

I decided to focus on the women writers in the selections on slavery readings, because I am very interested and intrigued by both the fight against racial injustice and the Women’s Rights Movements. I find it amazing that any woman had the courage to stand out, stand up, and speak or write publicly about these issues. The risks that they took in terms of the way they were viewed and treated by society in those days were large. From the NAAL information on Grimke: ‘At a time when women in her social class were expected to remain at home and embrace the private realm of domesticity, she was regarded as a particularly shocking cultural figure for her boldness in lecturing on abolitionism before mixed audiences of men and women.’ (NAAL page 758)

I appreciated the fact that the selection from Grimke’s Appeal to the Christian Women of the South included her overview of the seven ‘propositions’ explaining her position on slavery. Her order, explanations, and audacity make her anti slavery case straightforward and understandable. Her request of women is simple: Realize that you do have a place in wiping out slavery, and do something about it- whether or not it is something as small as staying educated or continuing to talk about the matter with those who live amongst slave owners and have an everyday involvement. As someone so dedicated to and involved with her cause who would go against the social norms for her day and age to persuade women to fight against slavery, I imagine she was praying daily very hard that her words would have an impact on the women who read them; that women and all people of color alike would be served justice in the upcoming years.

My favorite lines from Grimke’s Appeal Include:

~”Speak on this subject. It is through the tongue, the pen, and the press, that truth is principally propagated. Speak then to your relatives, your friends, your acquaintances on the subject of slavery; be not afraid if you are conscientiously convinced it is sinful, to say openly, but calmly, and to let your sentiments be known.”

(On the education of slaves):
~they have minds and those minds ought to be improved. So precious a talent as intellect, never was given to be wrapt in a napkin and buried in the earth. It is the duty of all, as far as they can, to improve their own mental faculties, because we are commanded to love Got with all our minds, as well as with all our hearts, and we commit a great sin, if we forbid or prevent that cultivation of the mind in others, which would enable them to perform this duty.”

I liked both of these quotes because they speak to the equal rights of all human beings and emphasize that a difference can be made through the words and actions of those who have authority in the matter. She explains that that it is not only something we have the ability to do, but an obligation to ensure that enslaved people are recognized as humans having rights and minds.

Although it was brief, the words spoken by Sojourner Truth were very moving and illustrated the boldness of her character. The lines in which she explains that she has all of the same abilities as a working man and can match any man’s strength while working, I found to be very effective. She begins the paragraph with the words “I am a woman’s rights.” To me, she seems to be asking, are you looking for a reason why women should have equal rights? Well, I am that reason. With these words, she most likely represented so many others who felt the same way. They had been treated and worked like men in the fields, and proved their worth and strength as workers, why not count them for their opinions and intellect as well? I loved the following lines from her speech. The message is very sensible and really shows that men were so caught up in degrading women, that they didn’t realize it probably would have been much easier to show them respect:

~“You need not be afrain to give us our rights for fear we will take too much, -for we ant take more than our pint’ll hold. The poor men seem to be all in confusion, and don’t know what to do. Why children, if you have woman’s rights give it to her and you will feel better. You will have your own rights, and they wont be so much trouble.”

She then goes on to refer to the what the lessons of the Bible have taught about women’s equality and touches on the fact that men are created by God and given birth by women, another reason that they must be treated equally. No men would be would be here if it weren’t for the women who gave birth to them.

Question:
I’d be interested to learn what the level of impact that Grimke’s works had on the actions of women when her they were published. There are many heartfelt words spoken to women included in this document; reasons for reassessing beliefs and lifestyles; calls to actions; motivational statements While reading, I feel as though this ‘Appeal’ is going out to an invisible audience, maybe only because there wasn’t all that much information about the size of the writer’s audiences. As with other selections in the text in which the authors speak directly to the reader about matters of morals, character, or controversial issues, (William Apess’ An Indian’s Looking-Glass for the White Man and David Walker’s Appeal in Four Articles) the perspectives/viewpoints are so moving, that I almost wish I was around when they were published, to get a better idea about how they were welcomed and the difference they made, if any.

Web Links

**Wikipedia Information about Sojourner Truth**

**Wikipedia Information about Angelina Grimke**

**Quotes from Sarah and Angelina Grimke**

**YouTube- Life of Sojuourner Truth: 'Ain't I a Woman' (clip)**

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**The Sojourner Truth Memorial in Northampton, MA** Sojourner Truth Statue at Battle Creek Michigan- Monument Park