Themba into slavery but you didn’t let it stop

Themba Kimani IB Language and Literature, Period 4January 4, 2017 p Written Task One: Rationale Language of American Leadership Working DraftAs part of the study of the Language of American Leadership unit in class, I have decided to write and open letter to Sojourner Truth an African-American abolitionist and women’s rights activist. Truth was born into slavery and later escaped, in 1851 she delivered her most memorable speech “Ain’t I A Woman” at the Women’s Convention in Akron Ohio. In Truth’s speech she confronts her audience of mainly white males. She asks them to not consider her as any less of a woman because of her skin color. This is a letter that attempts to emulate Sojourner Truth’s confrontational tone and be a reflection of what modern day rhetoric from Truth would sound like. Secondly, the main purpose of this letter is to bring a different perspective on the “silence breakers” or the women who stood up against sexual harassment and assault. Lastly, I want my second attempt at an open letter to be very concise and clear. I have worked to make my sentence structure  more straightforward and I have improved my analyzation of stylistic devices. My letter would be published as an article on the blog site: which is a feminist site that focuses on culture and politics. I believe that this is an appropriate place for my letter because it matches the style and tone of the articles posted there.Word Count: 237Dear Sojourner Truth,I would like to start of by saying “Thank you”. It might sound cliche but thank you for standing up for what you knew was right and having the courage to say the things the rest of us couldn’t. Before I really knew who you were I just considered you to be one of the great abolitionists of the 19th century. What I discovered is that your story is quite remarkable. You were born into slavery but you didn’t let it stop you from escaping with your daughter. Furthermore, you had the resolve and dedication to recover your son, becoming the first black woman to win a such a case against a white man. However, what speaks to me the most about you is your mindset because in numerous circumstances people of color had no influence whatsoever. You defied all of this, and you paved the way for countless women and people of color. More specifically your “Ain’t I A Woman” speech was bold and it asked the questions nobody wanted to hear. Today, your speech has influenced a growing number of women who stood up against sexual assault and misconduct. Now things are different and your efforts have given the women of today an advantage. You and inspired and spurred on countless individuals to follow suit and stand up for the rights they believe in.     One of your most notable speeches and the one you are known for today, was delivered at the Women’s Convention of 1851 in Akron, Ohio. Your short, simple and captivating message was a rebuke to many anti feminist viewpoints of the present day. From your opening lines ” Well, children there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter…” your colloquial language it is quite apparent and it immediately engages your audience. Your informal tone is used multiple times throughout your speech to create Hypophora. The most prominent and important repeated phrase is of course “And ain’t I a woman?”. Despite the simplicity of your question it is perfect because it challenged your audience’s viewpoint. It is even more relevant to today’s silence breakers the individuals who set off a chain reaction over the abundance of sexual harassment. The silence breakers movement initially began with allegations of sexual harassment against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. He was found to have harassed multiple women over a period of years. This movement took over and  women ousted notable men in a variety of industries and accused them of sexual harassment. It’s almost like you predicted this at the end of your speech when you said that ” If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back and get it right side up again.” Your allusion to Eve the first woman in the Bible can also be applied to the revolution that was started by the silence breakers. All it took was one women to have the courage to speak out. This woman was Ashley Judd, whose story began in 1997 when she met Harvey Weinstein for the first time and was dismayed when he attempted to force her into bed. When Judd campe forward in late 2017 it propelled women everywhere to speak about sexual misconduct. It also created a massive online campaign called #MeToo a hashtag that people use to declare themselves victims of sexual harassment. Not only that but Eve was responsible for giving Adam the apple and with your allusion you are showing your audience the direction connection between women having power.The obvious link between your life and silence breakers is that you suffered from physical and sexual abuse for many years. You were able to speak out against it and condemn the actions of those who wronged you. Like you, the silence breakers have made women everywhere have started to speak out and denounce the innppropriate abuse. TIME magazine interviewed various people about their experiences and almost all expressed the anxiety over what would happen to them if they spoke out. In some cases physical violence was the main concern. At this point in time its up to us to change the cycle of harassment. Leaders like you and so many other women from all walks of life have stood up for the rights they deserve. However, it will only get better when we start to pass on our knowledge to future generations. Even though sexual harassment is not as accepted the fact that it is still happening today means we can make a change. Your words and the words of many other women can only do so much. For change to happen it needs to start with the future generations of young boys who will learn from an early age that it is absolutely not O.K. and that No means No. Word Count: 815Works Cited”Sojourner Truth’s ‘Ain’t I A Woman?”.”, 22 Oct. 2013,”Sojourner Truth.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 9 Apr. 2006,”Her Words: Sojourner Truth.” Sojourner Truth Memorial Committee, 16 Nov. 2017, Sojournertruthmemorial.orgKim, Eun Kyung. “TIME’s 2017 Person of the Year… the Silence Breakers.”, TODAY, 6 Dec. 2017,, Jennifer. “Time’s Up: What to Know About Movement to End Harassment.” Time, Time, 2 Jan. 2018,


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