Sarah Baartman is a Name That Every Black Person Should Know

Sarah Baartman is a name that every black person should know. You wont hear about her too much in the mainstream media. And with good reason. Mainly because Sarah’s body was exploited,much like black women today in rap videos. It is really sick to watch at times. It’s hard to see my sisters looked upon as a piece of meat. And I don’t even want to mention what they do with black women in the porn industry. To call it degrading what be a vast understatement. A little history about Sarah:Sarah Baartman was born to a Khoisan family in the vicinity of the Gamtoos River in what is now the Eastern Cape of South Africa.She was orphaned in a commando raid. Saartjie, pronounced “Sahr-kee”, is the diminutive form of her name; in Afrikaans the use of the diminutive form commonly indicates familiarity, endearment or contempt. Her birth name is unknown.

sarah

In 1810, when Saartjie Baartman was in her early twenties, she was persuaded by an English ship’s doctor, William Dunlop, to travel to England to make her fortune. However, as a Khoikhoi woman she was considered an anthropological freak in England, and she found herself put on exhibition, displayed as a sexual curiosity. Dubbed The Hottentot Venus, her image swept through British popular culture. Abolitionists unsuccessfully fought a court battle to free her from her exhibitors.

Saartjie Baartman was taken to Paris in 1814 and continued to be exhibited as a freak. She became the object of scientific and medical research that formed the bedrock of European ideas about black female sexuality. When she died in 1816, the Musee de l’Homme in Paris took a deathcast of her body, removed her skeleton and pickled her brain and genitals in jars. These were displayed in the museum until as late as 1985.

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