A collection of historic writings from the slave-owner-turned-abolitionist sisters portrayed in Sue Monk Kidd’s novel The Invention of Wings
Sarah and Angelina Grimké’s portrayal in Sue Monk Kidd’s latest novel, The Invention of Wings, has brought much-deserved new attention to these inspiring Americans. The first female agents for the American Anti-Slavery Society, the sisters originally rose to prominence after Angelina wrote a rousing letter of support to renowned abolitionist William Garrison in the wake of Philadelphia’s pro-slavery riots in 1935. Born into Southern aristocracy, the Grimkés grew up in a slave-holding family. Hetty, a young house servant, whom Sarah secretly taught to read, deeply influenced Sarah Grimké’s life, sparking her commitment to anti-slavery activism. As adults, the sisters embraced Quakerism and dedicated their lives to the abolitionist and women’s rights movements. Their appeals and epistles were some of the most eloquent and emotional arguments against slavery made by any abolitionists. Their words, greeted with trepidation and threats in their own time, speak to us now as enduring examples of triumph and hope.
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About the Author
Sara Grimké (1792–1873) and Angelina Grimké (1805–1879) were the daughters of a slave-owning Charlestown judge, and dedicated their lives to promoting abolition and women’s rights.
Mark Perry is an historian and author of nine books, including Lift Up Thy Voice.