SISTERS

A representation of Sara Baartman.

A representation of Sara Baartman.

I see the wisdom of eternities
In ample thighs
Belying their presence as adornments
To the temples of my sisters

Old souls breathe
In the comfort of chocolate thickness
That suffocates Africa’s angels
Who dance to the rhythm
Of the universe’s womb
Though they cannot feel
Its origins in their veins
Blessed am I to be loved
In the temple of my own skin

My nappy center kisses the sun
In harmony divine
Devoid of the ugly
That does not know this as God
But the sons of oppression
Never gave sisters loaves
To feed the hungry fury in their bellies
Nor did they teach them to fish for spirit

So I pray to the voices
That whisper in my soft curves
For the lionesses of my blood
To hear the songs of the cool reeds
To feel the green blood beat of cataclysm in their breasts
And to know the embrace of freedom in nourishing silences
Where their radiant ebony vessels are reflections of their souls

By: Lebo Mashile

Sara Baartman

Sara Baartman

I am sharing this poem as a tribute to Sara Baartman. Sara Baartman was a young KhoiKhoi woman from the Eastern Cape in South Africa, who was lured by an English ship’s doctor, William Dunlop, to travel to England with him, so that she can have a better life. Instead of a better life, Sara found herself abused and humiliated when she was paraded as an exhibition throughout Europe, because of her curvy body. She was treated like an object, whose purpose was to provide entertainment for sick and twisted human beings. When she passed away 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. Because of this horrible experience, Sara Baartman died feeling like she was unattractive, not knowing that she was truly one of the most beautiful women in the world.

You can read more about Sara Baartman here.

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3 responses to “SISTERS

  1. It’s is amazing how the human mind works. I’ve seen a lot of cruelty in the world. I am Polish so I have seen what the Nazis did to my people during WWII, but it seems that there are still ways to hurt and humiliate people, I didn’t know about. Isn’t it amazing, it is the most cruelty always coming from the people who somehow claim superiority?

    Liked by 1 person

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