Sarah Baartman, the “first known Black female victim of trafficking,” died on 29 December 1815. A Khoi-san woman of South Africa, she was lured to Europe with the promise of fame and riches. She was transported to England in 1810 and exhibited on stage in a cage as a freak known as the Hottentot Venus. A court battle waged by abolitionists to free her from her exhibitors failed. In 1814 she was taken to France, and became the object of scientific and medical research that formed the bedrock of European sick ideas about black female sexuality. After her death, her brain, skeleton and sexual organs remained on display in a Paris museum until 1974 and were not repatriated and buried until 2002. Today she is seen by many as the epitome of colonial exploitation and racism, of the ridicule and commodification of Black people.
Canvas Type: Stapled back
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