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The Invention of Wings

This story was inspired by the 19th century abolitionist and suffragist Sarah Grimke from Charleston, South Carolina. Sarah was the daughter of a wealthy South Carolina plantation owner who was given her own personal slave, Handful, when she was a child. The chapters of this book alternate between the intertwined lives of Sarah and Handful and their differing perspectives on their lives. These two women become friends and both strive to be set free - Sarah from her ties to Southern bigotry, and Handful from slavery.

Although "The Wings of Invention" is a fiction book, Sarah Grimke and her sister Angelina were real women who became abolitionists after being exiled from their hometown of Charleston, SC. Their crime was speaking out in favor of liberty and equality for African American slaves and women.

Richland Library has several books about the Grimke Sisters. Pick up one and learn about South Carolina's infamous sisters from the 1830's.


Amazon Says: Praise for Conceived in Liberty: "An ambitious book, a history of the North and South from before the war to the end of Reconstruction. . . . Remarkable." (The New York Time more...
Amazon Says: Praise for Conceived in Liberty: "An ambitious book, a history of the North and South from before the war to the end of Reconstruction. . . . Remarkable." (The New York Times Book Review) In the late 1820s, Sarah and Angelina Grimké traded their elite position as daughters of a prominent slaveholding family in Charleston, South Carolina, for a life dedicated to abolitionism and advocacy of women's rights. The sisters became leaders in the anti-slavery movement, and their actions have had lasting repercussions on the way Americans strive for equality and social justice, even today. In 1868, Angelina and Sarah discovered that their deceased brother had had children by a slave. True to their ideals, the Grimké sisters invited their nephews into their lives, helped educate them, and gave them the means to start a new life. Archibald and Francis continued the fight for equality, becoming two of the most noted African Americans of their time. Francis, an influential Presbyterian minister, and Archibald, a lawyer, diplomat, writer, and editor, were deeply involved in the burgeoning civil rights movement and the founding of the NAACP. Archibald's daughter, Angelina Weld Grimké, became a seminal Harlem Renaissance poet and playwright. At once a social history and family biography, Lift Up Thy Voice illustrates how the question of race dominates American history. Readers with a passion for American history, the Civil War, reform politics, and the early women's and civil rights movements will be fascinated by the inspiring tale of this remarkable family and its leadership over the century that made America what it is today. less...
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Amazon Says: The diary that Angelina Grimke (1805-1879) kept from 1828 through 1835 offers a window into the spiritual struggles and personal evolution of a woman who would become one of t more...
Amazon Says: The diary that Angelina Grimke (1805-1879) kept from 1828 through 1835 offers a window into the spiritual struggles and personal evolution of a woman who would become one of the nation's most fervent abolitionists. A native of Charleston, South Carolina, and an heir to a family enterprise dependent on slave labor, Grimke was an unlikely supporter of emancipation. Only after years of inner turmoil did she leave the South to join her sister Sarah in the crusade against slavery. While Grimke's public persona has been widely studied, the private spiritual and intellectual journey that preceded her public career and pushed her to the forefront of the abolitionist movement is chronicled for the first time in Walking by Faith. When Grimke began this diary in January 1828, uncertainty about her place in the world and her life's work occupied her thoughts. For the next seven years she recorded her most intimate concerns. Her diary entries follow her shift in religious affiliation from Episcopolian to Presbyterian to Quaker; her changing views on abolition; her conclusion that living as a Quaker in Charleston would be impossible; and her decision to establish an existence independent of her family. An excellent example of the confessional diary, usually associated with New Englanders, Grimke's writings offer a psychological and spiritual self-portrait that prefigures the image later seen by the world. Editor Charles Wilbanks, in his introduction to the volume, considers how Grimke's private persona informs our understanding of her public rhetoric. Suggesting that it is not coincidental that her diary ends just as her public life begins, he contends that the construction of her journal provided the necessary bridge from the intuitive to the rational and from the contemplative to the active. less...
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Amazon Says: A landmark work of women's history originally published in 1967, Gerda Lerner's best-selling biography of Sarah and Angelina Grimke explores the lives and ideas of the only so more...
Amazon Says: A landmark work of women's history originally published in 1967, Gerda Lerner's best-selling biography of Sarah and Angelina Grimke explores the lives and ideas of the only southern women to become antislavery agents in the North and pioneers for women's rights. This revised and expanded edition includes two new primary documents and an additional essay by Lerner. In a revised introduction Lerner reinterprets her own work nearly forty years later and gives new recognition to the major significance of Sarah Grimke's feminist writings. less...
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Amazon Says: Here are the life stories of three women who connect us to our national past and provide windows onto a social and political landscape that is strangely familiar yet shockingl more...
Amazon Says: Here are the life stories of three women who connect us to our national past and provide windows onto a social and political landscape that is strangely familiar yet shockingly foreign. Berkin focuses on three “accidental heroes” who left behind sufficient records to allow their voices to be heard clearly and to allow us to see the world as they did. Though they held no political power themselves, all three had access to power and unique perspectives on events of their time. Angelina Grimké Weld, after a painful internal dialogue, renounced the values of her Southern family’s way of life and embraced the antislavery movement, but found her voice silenced by marriage to fellow reformer Theodore Weld. Varina Howell Davis had an independent mind and spirit but incurred the disapproval of her husband, Jefferson Davis, when she would not behave as an obedient wife. Though ill-prepared and ill-suited for her role as First Lady of the Confederacy, she became an expert political lobbyist for her husband’s release from prison. Julia Dent Grant, the wife of Ulysses S. Grant, was a model of genteel domesticity who seemed content with the restrictions of marriage and motherhood, even though they led to alternating periods of fame and disgrace, wealth and poverty. Only late in life did she glimpse the price of dependency. Throughout, Berkin captures the tensions and animosities of the antebellum era and the disruptions, anxieties, and dislocations generated by the war and its aftermath. less...
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Amazon Says: Angelina Grimke: Voice Of Abolition, by Todras, Ellen H. more...
Amazon Says: Angelina Grimke: Voice Of Abolition, by Todras, Ellen H. less...
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Amazon Says: The only Southern white women ever to become leading abolitionists, Sarah and Angelina Grimké encountered many obstacles and leapt many hurdles in pursuing their anti-slavery more...
Amazon Says: The only Southern white women ever to become leading abolitionists, Sarah and Angelina Grimké encountered many obstacles and leapt many hurdles in pursuing their anti-slavery work. Their greatest accomplishment was overcoming the ubiquitous prejudices of society in regard to women. Indeed, they were the first women to take to the public platform and the first to assert women's rights. In The Grimké Sisters from South Carolina, Gerda Lerner, herself a leading historian and pioneer in women's studies, tells the compelling history of these determined sisters and the inroads they made for women and blacks alike. From their wealthy upbringing in Charleston, South Carolina, the societal restraints that kept them from higher education, and their utter contempt of slavery, to their conversion to the Quaker religion, and monumental achievements at the podium and with the pen, Lerner illuminates the lasting contributions of the Grimké sisters, as well as the important role played by women in the anti-slavery movement. less...
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