HIS121 Evaluative questions

Evaluative questions Primary Source Title Secondary Source title
Ain’t I a Woman? A Vindication of the Rights of Women’ by Mary Wollstonecraft, and ‘Ain’t I a Woman?’ By Sojourner Truth Comment by Krutsinger, Cynthia (CCCS): You cannot use this source as it is the work of a student and not a secondary source.
Who was the author? (Not the editor or the translator) Sojourner Truth Mattia Ventre
Who is the audience? Be Specific. This is never ALL people. Children of African-American origin Comment by Krutsinger, Cynthia (CCCS): Is this the only audience? Consider who she was delivering the speech to. US history curriculum developers and historians
What type of document is it? (*More than a primary or secondary source. i.e. autobiography, letter, law, etc.) The document is a speech The document is a proposal letter
What is the subject or author’s thesis? Women have the ability to take care of themselves without necessarily depending on men’s assistance. Comment by Krutsinger, Cynthia (CCCS): Interesting. I’m not sure this was her thesis, though she did touch upon it. The source “Ain’t I a woman” is a crucial historical source that can teach history in school.
What was the author’s motive for writing the source? To convince the children and the white Americans that women can live independently and hence, there is a need to give them an opportunity to do what they can. Comment by Krutsinger, Cynthia (CCCS): I’m not sure this is true. She is arguing for the rights of women but she is also arguing for the rights of black people. To describe the potential in the source “Ain’t I a woman” at transforming the historical study of gender-based issues.
Does the author have an obvious bias? (*Note that all authors have biases, but not all are obvious.) What is the bias? The author has an obvious bias against white Americans. She assumes they are the most perpetrators of the undermining of women in their intellect. The author has no obvious bias.
Where was the document written? How does this influence what is written? The speech was written and presented in Akron, Ohio, where racial differences between white and black Americans influenced gender roles and rights. Written in America where racial differences were scaling up. The author has a personal experience of what people go through in fighting for equality.


Truth, S. (1852). Ain’t I a Woman? Women’s Convention. Modern History Sourcebook.

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Ventre, M. (2017). ‘A vindication of the rights of women’ by Mary Wollstonecraft, and ‘ain’t i a woman?’ by Sojourner Truth.

When was the document written? 1851 2017
What was the effect of the source on history? The speech offers us a historical image of what was happening in terms of gender roles and biases against women, particularly blacks. The proposal draws a reminder of the deconstructions of womanhood and the racism that existed against women.
What was the historical context of the document? What was going on at the time that might have influenced the author’s opinions? How did the source affect your view of the topic or event, if a secondary source? The document was written at a time when America was undergoing campaigns for gender equality and the rights of women. Besides, the bias against women was further fueled by racial discrimination promoted by the whites. Comment by Krutsinger, Cynthia (CCCS): This is a good start, but you need a more specific historical context. What was actually going on at the time – events, etc. Courses offered on historical issues regarding women and their roles were alone insufficient to describe the order of those historical events. Besides, there were issues of gender inequality facing many countries and hence the need for a historical consideration of the subject. The source helped me appreciate the tie between racism and gender inequality.
Why was the document written? (*You may have to infer this by reading between the lines or doing further research.) The document was written to raise women’s voices about their rights and abilities. Women felt they needed to be set free from the belittling attitude of the men, particularly the white men, and ensure the old culture is done away with. The document was written to promote texts such as Truth’s speech in studying history to increase the scope of coverage and understand the origins of contemporary issues.
Is the document credible? Why or why not? (*See how to determine reliability or credibility in the “Credibility” subheading on page 5.9 Primary and Secondary Source Analysis of the e-text) The document is credible since the author had a right and responsibility to write, being one of the voices that stood up for women’s rights. Comment by Krutsinger, Cynthia (CCCS): Based on the criteria provided? The document is credible since it addresses a theme that is crucial in contemporary society.

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