This is Gage’s attempt to construct audience, by making Truth more of a “figure” for the southern black women her was to appease to that specific audience and to empathizers of that group. “That written text represents Truth’s speech in the white abolitionist’s imagined idiolect of The Slave, the supposedly archetypical black plantation slave of the South” (Logan 20) I personally battle with how to take in Gage’s efforts. Although I understand that making Truth this figure of the strong black southern woman could help to further women’s rights and abolition, the stereotypical framing of Truth is borderline offensive no matter the intentions. It suggests that without that dialect her argument would not be relatable to black southern women and that the empathizers of this group would not be able to receive the message without this false figure.
Although, Campbell’s interpretation must also be questioned because of it’s lack of authenticity. Written 125 years later, we can’t even assume that she would be able to interpret the intent or feeling behind the speech. Not to mention have a true understanding of the time period and what the message needed to have it’s full impact.
source: With Pen and Voice: A Critical Anthology of Nineteenth-Century African-American Women
Logan, Shirley Wilson (Editor)