Editor’s note: This is another in a series of stories on important women in American history, in celebration of March as National Women’s History Month. Information was provided by members of the Kaua‘i County Committee on the Status of Women. For more information, or to inquire about joining the committee, call Pat Hunter-Williams, 639-0888, or the Office of the Mayor, 241-6300.
Thirty years before the Civil War, Sarah Grimke dared to ask, “Can any American woman look at these scenes of shocking cruelty, and fold her hands in apathy, and say, ‘I have nothing to do with slavery?’ She cannot and be guiltless.”
Sarah and Angelina Grimke, Southern women who had seen the brutality of slavery, spoke up for its abolition.
Although their talks were directed to women, men often attended.
At the time, having men in the audience of a woman speaker was considered scandalous, and the sisters were ridiculed in the press and condemned by the clergy.
Sarah and Angelina Grimke persevered in the face of harsh criticism, opening the way for other women to speak out in public on controversial issues.