No standards associated with this content. Which set of standards are you looking for?
Anne Cameron, a very gifted white Canadian author, writes several first Sojourner truth writings accounts of the lives of Native Canadian women. At the International Feminist Book Fair in Montreal, a group of Native Canadian writers ask Cameron to, in their words, "move over" on the grounds that her writings are disempowering for Native authors.
After the elections in Panama are overturned by Manuel Noriega, U. At a recent symposium at my university, a prestigious theorist was invited to give a lecture on the political problems of post-modernism. Those of us in the audience, including many white women and people of oppressed nationalities and races, wait in eager anticipation for what he has to contribute to this important discussion.
He lectures instead on architecture. These examples demonstrate the range of current practices of speaking for others in our society. While the prerogative of speaking for others remains unquestioned in the citadels of colonial administration, among activists and in the academy it elicits a growing unease and, in some communities of discourse, it is being rejected.
There is a strong, albeit contested, current within feminism which holds that speaking for otherseven for other womenis arrogant, vain, unethical, and politically illegitimate.
Feminist scholarship has a liberatory agenda which almost requires that women scholars speak on behalf of other women, and yet the dangers of speaking across differences of race, culture, sexuality, and power are becoming increasingly clear to all.
In feminist magazines such as Sojourner, it is common to find articles and letters in which the author states that she can only speak for herself. In her important paper, "Dyke Methods," Joyce Trebilcot offers a philosophical articulation of this view. She renounces for herself the practice of speaking for others within a lesbian feminist community, arguing that she "will not try to get other wimmin to accept my beliefs in place of their own" on the grounds that to do so would be to practice a kind of discursive coercion and even a violence.
In anthropology there is similar discussion about whether it is possible to speak for others either adequately or justifiably.
The recognition that there is a problem in speaking for others has followed from the widespread acceptance of two claims.
First, there has been a growing awareness that where one speaks from affects both the meaning and truth of what one says, and thus that one cannot assume an ability to transcend her location. I shall explore this issue further in the next section.
The second claim holds that not only is location epistemically salient, but certain privileged locations are discursively dangerous. Persons from dominant groups who speak for others are often treated as authenticating presences that confer legitimacy and credibility on the demands of subjugated speakers; such speaking for others does nothing to disrupt the discursive hierarchies that operate in public spaces.
For this reason, the work of privileged authors who speak on behalf of the oppressed is becoming increasingly criticized by members of those oppressed groups themselves. However, we must begin to ask ourselves whether this is ever a legitimate authority, and if so, what are the criteria for legitimacy?
In particular, is it ever valid to speak for others who are unlike me or who are less privileged than me? We might try to delimit this problem as only arising when a more privileged person speaks for a less privileged one.
In this case, we might say that I should only speak for groups of which I am a member. But this does not tell us how groups themselves should be delimited. For example, can a white woman speak for all women simply by virtue of being a woman? If not, how narrowly should we draw the categories?
The complexity and multiplicity of group identifications could result in "communities" composed of single individuals. Moreover, the concept of groups assumes specious notions about clear-cut boundaries and "pure" identities.
I am a Panamanian-American and a person of mixed ethnicity and race: The criterion of group identity leaves many unanswered questions for a person such as myself, since I have membership in many conflicting groups but my membership in all of them is problematic.
Group identities and boundaries are ambiguous and permeable, and decisions about demarcating identity are always partly arbitrary.
Another problem concerns how specific an identity needs to be to confer epistemic authority. Reflection on such problems quickly reveals that no easy solution to the problem of speaking for others can be found by simply restricting the practice to speaking for groups of which one is a member.
Adopting the position that one should only speak for oneself raises similarly difficult questions. If I should not speak for others, should I restrict myself to following their lead uncritically?
Is my greatest contribution to move over and get out of the way? And if so, what is the best way to do thisto keep silent or to deconstruct my own discourse? The answers to these questions will certainly depend on who is asking them.
While some of us may want to undermine, for example, the U. In order to answer these questions we need to become clearer on the epistemological and metaphysical issues which are involved in the articulation of the problem of speaking for others, issues which most often remain implicit.The writings of Sojourner Truth have been effective in moving audiences throughout the centuries, as they present both the damaged and resilient spirits of African Americans in direct, powerful.
Sojourner Truth’s birthrate is not specifically documented, because slave owners did not keep records of their slaves’ birth and death dates, but historians believe that she was born in Her birth name was Isabella Penumbrae, and she was born into slavery. Sojourner Truth, born Isabella Baumfree in , was an active participant in the Women’s Rights movement as well as a strong anti-slavery proponent from the time of .
29 quotes from Sojourner Truth: 'If women want rights more than they got, why don't they just take them, and not be talking about it.', 'I'm not going to die, I'm going home like a shooting star.', and 'That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere.
Freedom Movement Bibliography. See also: Books Written by Freedom Movement Veterans Book Titles Grouped by Subject Film, Videos & . The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-CH digitization project, Documenting the American South. The text has been entered using .