Posted on May 18, 2015
I had a few free minutes a couple of weeks ago before preschool pickup. I decided to run into the library to look for a few books for #1. He is a huge book nerd and reads A LOT! So I like to get him books from the library so that they are free. After I had chosen a few books for him, I had exactly two minutes to run through the adult section to see if something jumped out at me. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd was sitting on an end cap looking at me. I have read The Secret Life of Bees by the same author before and liked it, so figured I’d give it a try.
I am so glad that I did! This is now one of my most favorite books! And I read a LOT of books. First of all, it is set mainly in Charleston, which is one of my most favorite cities in the world. It is about two sisters, the Grimke’s, and their efforts to help end slavery. Oh, did I mention they are from a slave owning family? At the end of the book, Kidd writes that these are REAL sisters. Of course, some of the story has been fictionalized/romanticized, but these sisters are for real!
How have I never heard of these amazing, history-changing, strong women…from Charleston no less?! I, of course, had to do more digging into the lives of these sisters. I found this FREE Amazon Kindle book The Grimke Sisters Sarah and Angelina Grimke The First American Women Advocates of Abolition and Woman’s Rights by Catherine H. Birney. Now I’m not going to lie, this one was rather hard to get through…BUT I did learn a lot about these sisters. Sarah, for example, tried to teach her “waiting maid” how to read. This was of course not allowed, but it struck me that even as a young child she knew slavery was wrong and wanted to help. She also had older brothers who went off to college to study law, this she also found unfair and wanted to study and learn as well, which of course, females were not allowed to do in the early 1800s.
Angelina was born much later than Sarah and Sarah helped to raise her. Angelina then followed Sarah’s beliefs about slavery and women’s rights. As she grew, she became the more vocal and bold of the two. They both began writing pamphlets about the sin of slavery and speaking to large crowds. Their target audience was women. In a letter to her sister Angelina said, “An address to men will not reach women, but an address to women will reach the whole community…” Two hundred years ago, it was women they needed to reach entire communities!
The Grimke sisters joined forces with other women to speak out against slavery and women’s issues. They were often threatened and unwelcome back in Charleston. But they continues to stand up for their beliefs. They knew their voices should be heard.
Upon Angelina’s death, Lucy Stone said this:
” The women today owe more than they will ever know to the high courage, the rare insight, and fidelity of principle of this woman, by whose suffering easy paths have been made for them. Her example was a bugle-call to all other women. Who can tell how many have been quickened in a great life purpose by the heroism and self-forgetting devotion of her whose voice we shall never hear again, but who being dead, yet speaketh.”
So thank you, Sue Monk Kidd, for introducing me to these two strong, courageous heroes. And thank you Grimke sisters, for letting your voices be heard and standing up for abolition and women. May more of us follow in your footsteps and be bold enough to take care of each other.
Now, click on over to Amazon and buy this book!!!