Let’s talk about the time a white woman remixed Sojourner Truth’s famous speech


But this is a thing that whiteness does, and there are plenty of white people who willingly participate in it. American history as it is taught in American schools is mostly a white “remembrance” of what happened through the lens of whiteness, and the lens of whiteness is never going to allow white people to look like the bad guy even when they are very much the bad guy from the point of view of those who have experienced enslavement, colonialism, colonization, and imperialism at the hands of white people. 

History, they say, is written by the victors. Actually, “they” never said that either, but the way whiteness and the whitewashing of history works, if you tell a lie enough times, it somehow becomes the truth and even turns into a legend about Winston Churchill, crediting him with saying something he never said in the first place. 

And if white people have the audacity to whitewash their own history and credit an entire famous “quote” to someone who never uttered those words, what do you think they will do with the words of Black people who say famous things that go down in history? 

We’ve seen this with Martin Luther King Jr. and his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. As I’ve said in a previous column, white people have taken a powerful 17-minute speech of over 1,600 words — a speech that was speaking directly to them about their actions and policies — and whittled it down to a nine-word dependent clause that they repeatedly take out of context so they can weaponize it against Black people. 

Sometimes, however, white people rewrite things about Black people because they need to create a certain narrative and portray Black people in a certain light in order to make things palatable for white people.  

Let’s talk about the time a white woman remixed Sojourner Truth’s famous speech