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Captive Flesh No More

Captive Flesh No More

Saartjie Baartman, Quintessential Migratory Subject

Chapter:
(p.20) 1 Captive Flesh No More
Source:
African Diasporic Women's Narratives
Author(s):
Simone A. James Alexander
Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813049823.003.0002

This chapter chronicles Baartman's journey as captive flesh to free subject, ascertaining that her story is one of recovery and recuperation that culminated in her survival and attainment of citizenship. Baartman's conferral of citizenship provides a discursive and political space for women not only to articulate resistance but also to ascertain their role in nation-building. Along these lines, Baartman's story serves as catalyst for South African women's pursuit of citizenship. Baartman's rise from humble “servant” to esteemed stateswoman witnessed not only the debunking of established hierarchical structures but also the insertion of the woman in the national discourse. Appropriating Toni Morrison's powerful coinage, the chapter concludes that the “deeply loved flesh” is antidotal to the captive flesh.

Keywords:   Discursive, Political, Flesh, Survival, Captive

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