How an African Woman’s Curvy Body Sent Her To An Early Grave: The Story of Sarah Baartman
In the late 18th century, Sarah Baartman was working as a slave in Cape Town, South Africa, when she was discovered by a British doctor. Intrigued by her unusually large buttocks and genitals, he convinced her to accompany him to London. Once there, she was “displayed” as a scientific curiosity. Once the scientific community in London tired of her, she turned to Parisian exhibitions, and once they tired of her, she turned to prostitution. By the age of 25, Sarah Baartman was dead.
We can only guess that Sarah Baartman got on that ship from South Africa thinking she was headed for a better life. We can guarantee that the reality fell far short of her dreams. The story of Sarah Baartman is a must read, for we cannot completely understand where we are unless we first understand where we’ve been.