***DAILY DO’S – Monday 7 PM EDITION***
That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman? –Sojourner Truth
The day after 98-year-old NASA physicist and mathematician Katherine Johnson appeared on the stage at the Academy Awards seems like as good a day as any to honor the achievements and bravery of two of our black women heroes.
First up: Sojourner Truth, born Isabella Baumfree, a Dutch-speaking slave who escaped to freedom with her infant daughter in 1826. Shortly afterwards, she learned that her five-year-old son had been sold down South. Unbelievably, she took the case to court and managed to get him returned. Working in the abolitionist movement while also insisting on black women’s suffrage, she delivered an unforgettable extemporaneous speech at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in Akron. “Ain’t I A Woman” may well be the first expression of intersectional feminism and it retains its power today.
Watch Alfre Woodard deliver Truth’s famous speech here:
Read more about Sojourner Truth:
“In diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”
“We can learn to see each other and see ourselves in each other and recognize that human beings are more alike than unalike.” –Maya Angelou
Dr. Maya Angelou lived countless fascinating lives, from a hardscrabble Depression-era childhood to work as a sex worker, fry cook, dancer, actor, journalist and cast member in Porgy and Bess, as well as the author of seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry and countless articles, TV shows, plays and movies. Along the way she recited a poem at Bill Clinton’s inauguration, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and was the first African-American woman to direct a major motion picture (Down in the Delta, 1998).
PBS is airing a documentary about this phenomenal woman, “Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise,” which you can find here: https://tinyurl.com/jzxtv3j
Find out more about her books: https://tinyurl.com/gslsarl
And her life: https://tinyurl.com/grqja8d, with much more at mayaangelou.com.
This Huffpost article leads to a list of 35 amazing and inspiring black women, from aviator Bessie Coleman to revolutionary Angela Davis. There’s enough here for eleven more months of celebrating black women’s history all year long.
Katie Anthony is a writer, one of the administrators of Pantsuit Washington, and heads the Daily Do's team.
Liz Bander - writer
Angela Teater- Writer