Title: Sarah Baartman
Artist: Lioness Fonts
Album: African D.N.A
Written By: Lioness Fonts
Label: 1 ROAR Records
Produced by Slingshot Jamaica Music
Musicians: Speckles on drum and percussion (JA)
Fat String on bass and lead guitar (JA)
Sarah Baartman born in 1789 at the Gamtoos River now known as the Eastern Cape in South Africa, was a Khoi-Khoi woman who was exhibited as a freak show attraction in 19th-century Europe under the name Hottentot Venus.
In December 1815, Sarah died when she was around 26 years old.
In her short life she experienced immense cruelty from the hands of colonialists who took her from South Africa her homeland to Europe, on the promise her earning to promote a better life. Sarah Baartman, was one of the first black women known to be subjugated to human sexual trafficking. Like a circus animal, She was exhibited for her uncommon body type where they caged her next to Rhinos. There, people would pay to see her and were given sticks so they could poke her through the bars.
Sarah's unique shape was perceived as a curiosity at that time, but became a subject of scientific interest as well as of erotic projection.
Baartman had become one of the most famous celebrity exhibits of the 19th century where she was exhibited in freak shows in London, Paris and Ireland. In London, the act consisted of her emerging from a cage like a wild animal. In Paris she was sold to an animal trainer and paraded at high society balls. Sarah Baartman's humiliation continued after her death, when she was dissected by a surgeon, who conserved her brain and genitalia in bottles of formaldehyde. Her skeleton was exhibited in Musée de l'Homme museum in Paris, until the mid 1970s.
Finally, on 6th March 2002, after 200 years away from home, Nelson Mandela brought Sarah back to South Africa, and was buried in the Eastern Cape province on the 9th August that same year. Sarah Baartmann's experience really set in motion the particular way that Black women's bodies have been seen and accessed and represented throughout the years, and sadly, today through fashion, women all over the world from all race's are attracted to the attention they get through wearing certain garments which would expose or enhance assets to which Sarah was experimented for.
Sarah Baartman The song
Taken from the forthcoming album 'African D.N.A', Sarah Baartman is the first single out of 15 tracks to be released from it. This song is designed to educate and to uplift women of the world encouraging them to wear their crowns again.
I feel this movement will also have an impact on the way men view women, and because of the new found self respect, the men would have no choice but to act accordingly to the newly founded higher standards.
Through the women of the world finding self respect, I believe this will create good family values, examples and influences within the home so that the children would have a better and organised future with dignity. Sarah Baartman, was taken away and was humiliated, exploited and eventually became a scientific experiment, all because of her unique shape which excited, and at the same time baffled European oppressors.
A scientist named Cuvier, said that Sarah was the missing link between animals and humans. She was sold to several slave owners between Ireland and England as a domestic servant. In London, she was displayed in a building in Piccadilly, a street that was full of various oddities like “the ne plus ultra of hideousness” and “the greatest deformity in the world”. Sarah was kept in a cage which was said to be around a meter and a half high. After four years in London, she was transported to France. There, Sarah was experimented on by scientists, humiliated in zoo's, prostituted, raped (and wasn't treated for STDs) and as a result of this continued abuse, she became an alcoholic and died in Paris year 1816. Speculation of small pox or pneumonia is said to be the cause of death, but for sure, the impact of Sarah's degrading life from the hands of her oppressors has to be the number one suspect.
Women of today, of all colours and races expose themselves too easily making it easy for 21st century experiments subliminally. Through my "African D.N.A" tour, I plan a campaign to highlight the right honorable Sarah Baartman so the world will research her, and be put on a platform to be not forgotten.
This campaign cannot be done without the help of international Djs and Soundsystems, so I am asking for support by promoting this song and educating audiences about Sarah, a great Grandmother deserving of highlighting and recognition.
We need to counteract the demotion of women and the disrespect of their bodies. Sadly, this is highly promoted through the use of degrading lyrics in music, and also corrupt music videos where women are used in a derogatory way promoting non-self respect. This, unfortunately today is highly favourable and valued in the name of entertainment.
I wrote this song so everyone will know that, close to heart, Sarah Baartman’s name will ever ring.
By Lioness Fonts
Sarah Baartman, the vocal mix and Dub is Available for download from the 27th November on all leading downloading sites through Distrokid.