Comparative Analysis of "Ain’t I Woman" by Isabella Baumfree and "Lynching and The Excuse for It" by Ida B. Wells-barnett

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 916 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: May 7, 2019

Words: 916|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: May 7, 2019

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.” This prevailing quote given by Dr. King provides us with his feelings as well as his logical reasoning when it comes to lynching. He accepts the notion that he may not be accepted for the color of his skin, but at least now there are laws in place to discourage others from committing a hate crime. This quote depicts why we as humans should be cognitive thinkers, who reason logically, with a legal system in place that is structured for giving everyone a fair trial by a jury of their peers. Ida B. Wells-Barnett was effective as evidenced through ethos, pathos, and logos, while also providing factual evidence to convey her points and support her statements in the article “Lynching and the Excuse for It.” However, it was the opposite case in the article “Ain’t I Woman,” by Isabella Baumfree, as she used an emotional approach to convey her argument. In this essay, we will be comparing these two readings while being attentive to ethos, pathos, and logos to support both authors’ arguments.

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First, let's look at these two readings in terms of ethos. Throughout a period of fifteen years, two thousand people were killed unethically, as a result of lynching. No convicting evidence was brought to trial to prove that the alleged individuals were guilty of their crimes. At that time, Jane Addams published her proclamation in support of lynching, while making the assumption that this execution method without a trial may be the only successful way of dealing with the criminals of this category. It was indisputability unethical, as civilized citizens we should be proactive in having ethics that govern our society; being able to reason that having regard for human life is what separates us from the animal kingdom.

Both authors make appeals to pathos in their articles. Ida B. Wells-Barnett felt strong in her moral duty to fight against racial discrimination and the unscrupulous violence toward her own race. She was risking her life by publishing this article, being an African American woman during an era with high racial political tension. Also, Isabella Baumfree used an emotional resonance through her writing in order to influence the reader to support the women’s rights movement. The article went on to describe the preferential inequalities of both women and African Americans during this epoch. Isabella Baumfree actively participated in the field of women’s rights. In a society dominated by men, she wanted everyone to be aware of the inequality between African American women and Americans over time. Several claims are made that African Americans and women are inferior to white men. By targeting these men, she tries to convince her audience to support the women’s right movement.

In terms of logos, Ida B.Wells-Barnett then proved by providing public record as evidence that many had been lynched for what should have been misdemeanor charges, as stated “It shows that men, not a few, but hundreds, have been lynched for misdemeanors, while others have suffered death for no offense known to the law, the causes assigned being "mistaken identity," "insult," "bad reputation." "unpopularity," "violating contract," "running quarantine," "giving evidence," "frightening child by shooting at rabbits," etc.” She was effective in using unquestionable statistics to prove that racial prejudice was the true cause for lynching. These lynching’s were well documented kept record with name, nationality, gender, alleged crime, and location of lynching, presumably as a justification for the legal lynching practice. On the other hand, Isabella Baumfree stood against the wrongful preconceived notions of women’s right. She made a logical comparison using measurements of cups in saying that we each deserve to have what our cups can hold and should not pass judgment that the other person does not deserve what they have in their cup because it is presumed to be less than others. She also countered the Christianity religion’s reason and rationalization of why men are superior to women by saying “Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.” This counter argument strategy was preeminent in providing support against the historical religious perceived logic that men should be superior to women because of biblical teachings was in fact illogical.

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In conclusion, it may be said Ida B.Wells-Barnett makes better use of ethos and logos in her article by proving that lynching was a hate crime with the very own statistics tables that were being published to prove otherwise, while Isabella Baumfree was more passionate in expressing pathos throughout her article, as she took an authoritative tone in regards to women equality. Nonetheless, both women showed courageous fortitude as they took great stance against racial prejudice circumstances that many would remain silent rather than confront the problem. Although lynching is still commonly used in South America today, overall our country has progressed in terms that lynching was ruled out as a legal method of justice. Many would argue that gender inequality still exists today, to include gap wages based on gender and leadership roles within our social order. One would think that in our day in age it should it would inconsiderably ignorant to judge another person’s ability to perform a task based on race or gender. Lastly, we should continue to learn from our historical mistakes and be optimistic towards mankind continuously being able to make progress.

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Cite this Essay

Comparative Analysis Of “Ain’T I Woman” By Isabella Baumfree And “Lynching And The Excuse For It” By Ida B. Wells-Barnett. (2019, April 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 29, 2024, from
“Comparative Analysis Of “Ain’T I Woman” By Isabella Baumfree And “Lynching And The Excuse For It” By Ida B. Wells-Barnett.” GradesFixer, 26 Apr. 2019,
Comparative Analysis Of “Ain’T I Woman” By Isabella Baumfree And “Lynching And The Excuse For It” By Ida B. Wells-Barnett. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 29 Feb. 2024].
Comparative Analysis Of “Ain’T I Woman” By Isabella Baumfree And “Lynching And The Excuse For It” By Ida B. Wells-Barnett [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Apr 26 [cited 2024 Feb 29]. Available from:
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