Friday, June 7, 2013

Sara Baartman Story and Poem by Dede Hunt

Sara Baartman Story and Poem by Dede Hunt
Blog post by Ant Thomas

JordanaSoliel, a photographer out of Boston, constantly points out to me that young women now are volunteering themselves to be Sara Baartman.  I finally took the time to do some research on Sara Baartman, and she was a well endowed Black Woman, from South Africa.  Sara Baartman willingly went to Europe, only to be made a spectacle of because she was much curvier than white women in Europe.  Sara Baartman was forced into public display and prostitution, very much like the women photo'd on the right are on public display.

The women photo'd on the bottom, are doing a "You Can Touch My Hair" display in Union Park Square for un-ruly.  Un-ruly is a website that makes hair products and styles available online, in one location because Black Women spend nine times more than any other ethnic group on hair and beauty products than anyone else.

Sara Baartman died in 1815, at age 25 of disease and loneliness.  When she died, Europeans took out her vagina, brain, skeleton, and put them in jars for public display.  Sara Baartman's body was also turned into plaster and put on public display.  The display was not taken down until nearly 1974, and her body remains were not returned to South Africa until 2002.  Sara Baartman was disgraced for nearly 200 years.  There are three women on display, one with her hair being touched in the photo.  At what point is curiosity being taken too far? When will ignorance not come back to haunt us?  When does self dignity come into play?

"You Can Touch My Hair" Display
Union Park Photo taken 6.6.13.
There will be another display
held on 6.8.13.