​September 21, 1832: Maria Stewart Delivered The Lecture ‘Why Sit Ye Here And Die?’

0 Posted by - September 21, 2016 - BLACK ART & LITERATURE, Black First, BLACK POLITICS, BLACK WOMEN, DID YOU KNOW, LATEST POSTS, Looking Black On Today, Missing From Textbooks, POLITICS, Racism, SLAVERY, Wonder Woman Wednesdays

At Franklin Hall in Boston, Maria Stewart delivered her famous speech to the New England Anti-Slavery Society. She denounced slavery in the 1st public lecture delivered by a black woman in the United States.

Maria W. Stewart was an African-American journalist, lecturer, abolitionist, and women’s rights activist. Although her career was brief it was very striking. Maria W. Stewart started off her career as a domestic servant. She later became an activist.

She was the 1st American woman to speak to a mixed audience of men and women, whites and black. She was also the 1st African- American woman to lecture about women’s rights, make a public anti-slavery speech and the 1st African-American woman to make public lectures.

SEPT. 21, 1832: At Franklin Hall in Boston, Stewart delivers Why Sit Ye Here and Die?:

“Yet, after all, methinks there are no chains so galling as the chains of ignorance—no fetters so binding as those that bind the soul, and exclude it from the vast field of useful and scientific knowledge. O, had I received the advantages of early education, my ideas would, ere now, have expanded far and wide; but, alas! I possess nothing but moral capability—no teachings but the teachings of the Holy spirit.”

Stewart continues in her lecture by demanding equal rights for African-American women:

“I have asked several individuals of my sex, who transact business for themselves, if providing our girls were to give them the most satisfactory references, they would not be willing to grant them an equal opportunity with others? Their reply has been—for their own part, they had no objection; but as it was not the custom, were they to take them into their employ, they would be in danger of losing the public patronage. And such is the powerful force of prejudice. Let our girls possess what amiable qualities of soul they may; let their characters be fair and spotless as innocence itself; let their natural taste and ingenuity be what they may; it is impossible for scarce an individual of them to rise above the condition of servants. Ah! why is this cruel and unfeeling distinction? Is it merely because God has made our complexion to vary? If it be, O shame to soft, relenting humanity! “Tell it not in Gath! publish it not in the streets of Askelon!” Yet, after all, methinks were the American free people of color to turn their attention more assiduously to moral worth and intellectual improvement, this would be the result: prejudice would gradually diminish, and the whites would be compelled to say, unloose those fetters!”


?Stewart is honored together with William Lloyd Garrison with a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA) on December 17.

?Stewart’s speech inspired the title of Daughters of Africa: An International Anthology of Words and Writings by Women of African Descent from the Ancient Egyptian to the Present, edited by Margaret Busby (1992).


  • gamefly free trial May 6, 2019 - 4:36 am Reply

    Hmm it seems like your site ate my first comment (it was
    super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say,
    I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still
    new to everything. Do you have any helpful hints for novice blog
    writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.

  • download minecraft pc May 8, 2019 - 9:13 pm Reply

    Now I am going to do my breakfast, when having my breakfast coming over again to read further news.

  • free minecraft download May 9, 2019 - 8:20 pm Reply

    This website was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something
    which helped me. Thanks a lot!

  • download minecraft for free May 12, 2019 - 11:04 pm Reply

    I don’t know if it’s just me or if perhaps everyone else
    encountering problems with your blog. It appears as though some of the
    written text within your posts are running off the screen. Can somebody else please comment and let me know
    if this is happening to them too? This may be a problem with my
    browser because I’ve had this happen before. Many thanks

  • how to download minecraft May 13, 2019 - 9:25 pm Reply

    I blog frequently and I truly thank you for your content. Your article has
    really peaked my interest. I will book mark your website and keep
    checking for new details about once a week. I subscribed to
    your RSS feed as well.

  • how to download minecraft free May 14, 2019 - 5:49 pm Reply

    Your mode of telling everything in this paragraph is genuinely
    good, all be capable of without difficulty
    understand it, Thanks a lot.

  • Randglync June 5, 2019 - 8:16 pm Reply

    Zithromax Skin Abscess Free Shipping Fluoxetine 40mg Real Price Cod Only priligy Vendita Levitra 20mg Who Selling Viagra At A Discount

  • gamefly free trial June 8, 2019 - 1:03 am Reply

    Great beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend your
    web site, how could i subscribe for a blog website? The
    account aided me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny
    bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear concept

  • Leave a reply