The Grimké Sisters Analysis

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When examining the African American Civil Rights Movement from a historical perspective, historians and scholars have focused predominantly on the lives and influences of a few, celebrated characters. For example, early abolitionist advocates, such as Sojourner Truth, William Lloyd Garrison, and Frederick Douglass, and twentieth-century civil rights leaders Ida B. Wells, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King Jr. have received significant attention and justifiably achieved revered status among scholars and non-academics alike. However, few individuals beyond the narrow world of academia have heard of America’s first, southern, female abolitionists, Sarah and Angelina Grimké. The Grimké sisters, who belonged to the powerful planter aristocracy in …show more content…
Throughout her work, Lerner effectively weaves an intriguing and extensive portrait of the Grimké sisters, and the triumphs and trials they faced as female abolitionists in the public arena. Lerner maintains that Sarah and Angelina’s understandings of racial and gender discrimination were “far ahead of that of their contemporaries and most white abolitionists.” Thus, Sarah and Angelina’s significant contributions to the struggle against racism and gender discrimination in America cannot be ignored in the histories of the antislavery and women’s rights movements. Lerner’s historical biography is an academic labor of love to the sisters, and is strongly supported through her expert use of primary and secondary sources. The book’s rich bibliography reveals the author’s extensive research into the complicated lives of the Grimké sisters, and the tumultuous social and political history of nineteenth-century …show more content…
“The Grimké Sisters,” by Ellen H. Todras, is an informative narrative essay on Sarah and Angelina Grimké’s affluent childhood in the South, and their active participation in the northern abolitionist movement between 1835 and 1838. Todras reveals that the Grimké sisters personally witnessed the horrors of slavery as an institution on a consistent basis during the impressionable years of their childhood. As a result, their intimate knowledge of and personal experience with slavery profoundly impacted the depth of their radicalism. The author further surmises that Sarah and Angelina’s impassioned views concerning the degradations of slavery and racial discrimination unequivocally shaped the rhetoric of their antislavery argument and abolitionist literature. Todras successfully utilizes numerous primary and secondary sources to support her argument throughout her work. The author’s thorough examination of primary and secondary evidence consists of letters, pamphlets, essays, scholarly books, and journal articles. Todras’s abridged biography of the Grimké sisters vividly illustrates the underlying motivations of Sarah and Angelina’s seemingly impenetrable commitment to the radical abolitionist

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