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Shawty Got Low
Be Girlstrong!
Tuesday, 22 April 2008
Sara Baartman

Who Was Sarah Baartman?

When 20 year old Sara Baartman got on a boat that was to take her from Cape Town to London in 1810, she could not have known that she would never see her home again. Nor, as she stood on the deck and saw her homeland disappear behind her could she have known that she would become the icon of racial inferiority and black female sexuality for the next 100 years.

The English media dubbed her the “Hottentot Venus.” Born 1789 in South Africa to the indigenous Khoi Khoi tribe, Sara was taken to London in 1810 and exhibited naked in a freak show type atmosphere to European spectators who paid to gaze at her large breasts and behind. She spent four years in London, and then moved to Paris, where she continued her degrading round of shows and exhibitions.

No one knows if Baartman was paid for her “services”, but if she was paid, it wasn’t sufficient to buy herself out of the life she was living. Once the people in Paris got tired of the Baartman show, she was forced to turn to prostitution. She didn’t last the ravages of a foreign culture and climate, or the further abuse of her body. She died in 1815 at the age of 25.

Sarah became the object of scientific and medical research that formed a lot of the stereotypical and false European ideas about black female sexuality. After her death, Sara Baartman remained “an object of imperialist scientific investigation.” In the name of science and as a further insult to women of African descent, until as recently as 1985 Sara’s sexual organs and brain were on display in a French museum. Sarah’s remains were finally returned to her homeland in 2002 on Woman’s Day (August 9). 

It took nearly 200 years for Sarah to regain her dignity.  How does this story make you feel about women who willingly compromise their self respect today?

Posted by girlstrong at 5:01 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 22 April 2008 5:07 PM EDT
Thursday, 17 April 2008
Mood:  lyrical
Now Playing: Black Is...


by, Ronneal Mathews 

She gives it up like

“What the heck?”

‘Cause she don’t think she’s worth

The trouble

“Court me?

Date me?

Treat me?


Sedate me,

‘Cause I’m really not worth

The Trouble”

She’s been used and abused

So many times she’s confused

Was she ever a virgin

Or innocent?


Disrespect me,

Underestimate me,

Abuse me


Rape me

I don’t care…

I’m not worth

The trouble”

She doesn’t even know what

Self esteem is

And her story is like

Way too many

She’ll gyrate

She’ll dance

For the pleasure of a man

And do it for a grand or a penny

Black thighs

Black bottoms

Black hips

Black lips

All in a world full of numb

Swirling in a pool of flesh

What a shame

What a mess

But somebody’s got to see

She’s worth

The trouble

Mother of the earth

Disgraced life

Royal birth

Why aren’t you rushing to save her?


You slap her

Hate her

Defile her

Enslave her

And created a world full of


But I’m fightin’ to get us back

I’m them

They’re me

Sista black

And I know

I’m sho’ worth

The trouble

Posted by girlstrong at 12:42 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 22 April 2008 5:09 PM EDT
Monday, 31 March 2008
It never ceases to amaze me
Mood:  on fire
Topic: Shawty Got Low

It never ceases to amaze me!  It seems like the more time passes, the lower our Beautiful Black Princesses go.  It's like that song where the guy talks about how "Shawty got low".  In the song, they are of course referring to a girls ability to dance nasty but in my opinion, when "Shawty's get low" they're doin' a whole lot more than "getting low" to the ground.  I mean, how "low" does your self esteem have to be to shake and gyrate half naked in front of a group of fully dressed men? 

I went to the library the other day and to my horror, a group of young men were gathered around a computer watching a group of little girls (they couldn't have been more than 14), "Twirkin'" for the camera on YouTube.  I wonder if these little girls understand the implications of "gettin' low" on the world wide web - I was devastated.

So I wanted to send a message to all my little sisters out there.  Please stop "gettin' low".  How are we as women ever going to rise above all of the degrading and disrespectful rhetoric if we keep on sinking to new lows?  Have you ever listened to the words of some of these songs?  If women and girls would take a stand and decide that we are going to take the high road maybe we can set some of these disrespectful brothers record sales to an all time "low".  Just my opinion.

Posted by girlstrong at 5:13 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 22 April 2008 5:09 PM EDT

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