Her Court Appeal Changed History For Enslaved Women

Drawing entitled "Africa woman slave trade"
Leslie Taylor-Grover
August 24, 2020

Regardless of her prayers, Maria Chiquinquira Diaz still got raped, beaten, and brutalized by the priests who claimed Godliness. When her mother was found dead of leprosy, the holy men left her to rot, too. But she didn’t.

They recaptured her, and now she had a daughter of her own. She knew it wouldn’t be long before the men who prayed for others would prey on her girl child. She had to act swiftly and creatively.

All her life she had to fight – but Maria Chiquinquira Diaz would NOT allow the same for her daughter. She had an audacious plan to get freedom … but would it work?

She petitioned the courts to free her and her daughter – on the basis of LABOR LAWS, arguing that the sexual abuse, overwork, and unfair wages violated her human rights! Her case took decades to settle because the priests fought her every step of the way. Did she win?

The courts decided in her favor, and her case set a precedent for other enslaved women to sue under labor laws, too! 

Though she died before the decision was made, she and her daughter had lived as free citizens in the meantime. We must always fight for our liberation – by using any and every available opportunity!

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