Life of an Abolitionist: Sarah Moore Grimke

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The Life of an Abolitionist for Equality: Sarah Moore Grimke Racism is the legacy of slavery. Slavery abounds through the racism that promotes it and is “the great wound and sin of the south, and the great wound and original sin of America” (Kidd). Although great steps are taken to tend to this wound and promote forgiveness racism continues to linger. Sarah Moore Grimke’s life revolves around taking the aforementioned steps toward equality in all measures of life. Sarah was born to an affluent, socially prominent family in the heart of ante-bellum dixie, Charleston, South Carolina, on the 26th of November 1792. As a result of growing up on a large cotton planation, slaves were a very significant aspect of Sarah’s childhood. Sarah and her thirteen siblings each had their own handmaid to tend to their every need and be their constant companion. Sarah’s housemaid, Hetty, quickly became her closest friend and her equal. As equals, Sarah felt as though Hetty was a part of her family and should have all the same advantages as she. However, Sarah recognized that her family did not feel the same about Hetty and the other slaves, so she practiced her affection in private. Sarah educated Hetty by teaching her the basic standards and how to read. Sadly, when Mr. and Mrs. Grimke learned of this they harshly punished Sarah and Hetty. Shortly later, tragedy struck in the form of disease, ending Hetty’s life and breaking Sarah’s heart. Their relationship was unique from other positive relationships between owners and their slaves because it was not based on defiance, guilt, or estrangement, but unfettered mutual understanding of equality. This bond marks the beginning of Sarah Grimke’s life as an abolitionist.

Sarah was appalled by the racism around her and refused to see the difference her society recognized between themselves, white folks, and their slaves. This allowed Sarah to practice a love not fouled by racial discrimination, but fueled by equality. Meanwhile, in...
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