Presley on Sarah Grimke's Authenticity

Hi. I’m Presley and I am designing the next Grace & Grit box. I nominated Sarah Grimke for the Nominate Her Challenge, choosing Authenticity as her theme. I bet most of you have no idea who Sarah Grimke is – I didn’t either, at first – so why did I pick her? Let me tell you.

Sarah Grimke was an American abolitionist who also belonged to the Woman Suffrage Movement, so she helped free slaves and fight for equality for women. Sarah grew up with slaves doing her chores for her and just felt it wasn’t right, and she couldn’t stand that others didn’t consider slaves to be people. One of my favorite things that she said was, “My family and neighbors encourage slaves to be baptized and to attend worship services, but did not consider them to be true brothers and sisters in faith,” so that’s one of the things that encouraged her to be an abolitionist.

As Sarah was growing up, her family recognized her intelligence – yet she wasn’t allowed to have a substantive education or to pursue her dream of being an attorney. She thought it was so unfair that her brother got to have a full education while she was learning French, painting with watercolors, learning how to play the harpsichord, and doing embroidery. Can you imagine not having an actual education? I can’t, and we wouldn’t be able to do certain jobs that women can do now. So Sarah took matters into her own hands. She would sneak into her dad’s library at night and read about geography, history, mathematics, and study some of his law books. A lot of her early childhood shaped her future of being an abolitionist and fighting for women’s equality.

Why did we not learn about Sarah in history class or social studies? We learned about Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who did the same thing as Sarah Grimke. This was one of the reasons I picked her. Since she was a big part of history, I thought girls should know her story; it’s “HERSTORY” (history).

Sarah Grimke is a lot of things, but many of the words describing her character – like confidence, perseverance and courage – already were taken by other Grace & Grit women. I participate in Gracefully Strong and had just finished a session when the Nominate Her Challenge came out. So I thought about what we had learned, and I came back to authenticity. Authenticity means to be real or to be yourself. That fit Sarah.

So, now you know why I picked Sarah Grimke and why I picked authenticity for her theme. I hope you enjoyed because I enjoyed writing it!