On Their Shoulders

Friday, March 27, 2015




This week, the United Nations commemorated its annual International Day of Rememberance of the victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade with a  focus on the women who “Women and Slavery”. The theme is in honour of “...the many enslaved women who endured unbearable hardships, including sexual exploitation,as well as those who fought for freedom from slavery and advocated for its abolition.The theme also celebrates the strength of enslaved women, many of whom succeeded in transmitting their African culture to their descendants despite the many abuses they had to endure.
It is estimated that one third of the approximately 15 million people who were deported from Africa through the Transatlantic  Slave Trade were women.Enslaved women carried a triple burden. In addition to enduring the harsh conditions of forced labour as a slave,they experienced extreme forms of discrimination and exploitation as a result of their gender and the colour of their skin.” -United Nations website.
No matter how many times, I read such descriptions, watch movies or read books highlighting the plight of the enslaved African woman, I remain fascinated by her strength. After all, she did not collapse under the cross she bore. In many ways, her  strength carried her race through slavery. I feel grateful and humbled and proud to stand on the shoulders of these warrior queens.

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