Am I Not A Woman And A Sister

Did you see the Google link of the day? It’s a very nicely painted photo of a woman in profile reading a book on a beach before the ocean. It is Mary Prince.

It is she who said, Am I not a woman and a sister? when as a slave she petitioned for the abolition of slavery.

In the picture there are gulls or other white sea birds wheeling in the air, but Mary is intent on her book.

What book is it? Perhaps she is reading her own book – The History Of Mary Prince, a West Indian Slave, related by herself.

You can get it on Amazon. 

Here’s the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry for her:

Mary Prince (1788 – after 1833, age at death approx. 45) was a British abolitionist and autobiographer, born in Bermuda to an enslaved family of African descent. Subsequent to her escape, when she was living in London, England, she wrote her slave narrative The History of Mary Prince, which was the first account of the life of a black woman to be published in the United Kingdom. This first-hand description of the brutalities of enslavement, released at a time when slavery was still legal in Bermuda and British Caribbean colonies, had a galvanising effect on the anti-slavery movement. It was reprinted twice in its first year.

Ironically, the only thing I haven’t been able to find is who painted the Google picture.


  1. Joan E. Miller says:

    We don’t have that link in the U.S. today! Perhaps it’s the connection to England. But thanks for posting. Interesting story!


    1. How interesting that you don’t have the link in the U.S. Thanks for letting me know.

      Yes, perhaps it is the English connection.

      I wonder sometimes how Google chooses who to commemorate.


  2. Tamara says:

    Interesting delving, David!


    1. Thanks. I wonder why Google doesn’t give attribution to the artist who painted the little graphic? It’s odd when set against the invisibility of slaves, no?

      I was just reading the other day about the Boers in South Africa. When the British Government abolished slavery, they decided a price to compensate slave owners. That included slaves in South Africa that was at that time under British rule. The Boers, who had brought slaves over from their East India colony, weren’t happy with the price they were offered – and that started the slow move to the independence movement. One could link that through to apartheid and what succeeded it – and all for an argument about price.


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