A guest post by Katherine Durack.
If you’ve read Sue Monk Kidd’s wonderful historical novel, The Invention of Wings, you might have wondered about some of the details — which parts of the story did Kidd make up? And which are based in fact?
“Slaveholding As It Was: The Courageous Testimony of Sarah and Angelina Grimke” tells about one source for some of the facts, American Slavery As It Is: The Testimony of A Thousand Witnesses, published by the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1839. The book was an astonishing accomplishment, a catalog of evidence drawn from clippings from some 20,000 issues of Southern newspapers, each fragment giving clues to the brutality of life for thousands of enslaved men, women, and children. The authors included two sisters, Sarah and Angelina Grimke, daughters of an upper class Southern household who rejected their slaveholding heritage to become the first female agents of the American Anti-Slavery Society. In an era when abolitionist presses were smashed by mobs and speakers might be tarred and feathered, the sisters toured the country sharing the truths of their experience to any who would listen, despite threats from hostile crowds who were offended by the sisters’ message and affronted by the gall of two women who dared to speak in public on such a controversial political subject.
Inspired by these courageous women, I created two sister projects in Tunisian crochet. A pattern for the Liberty sontag appears in Stories in Stitches 6, along with my article about the two women. I hope you’ll be as inspired by them as I was!