Out of Her Place was inspired by the iconic women’s rights advocate Susan B. Anthony. The first and last stanzas of the text are from speeches she gave at women’s rights conventions; the middle stanza contains lines from her personal letters.
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Since writing this piece, I have learned about some problematic aspects of Susan B. Anthony’s legacy. I still find value in her words, and I recommend The Great Schism by Ta-Nehisi Coates for a nuanced assessment of this history.
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Forget conventionalisms; forget what the world will say, whether you are in your place or out of your place; think your best thoughts, speak your best words, do your best works, looking only to your own conscience for approval. There is so much amid all that is so hopeful, to discourage and dishearten— and I feel alone… but I think I am good for a great deal of work yet… for it is the brave and courageous who dare to strike out alone— and it is they who will not surrender… The influence has gone forth, the great ocean has been moved, and those who watch, even now may see the mighty waves of truth slowly swelling on the shores of time.