She Fought Back Against Her Enslaver To Secure Freedom

Painting of enslaved people in Brazil
Shonda Buchanan
November 27, 2020

Wounded and bloody from his fists and boots, Mônica grabbed the axe and stood over him while he slept in a drunken stupor.

The first blow was for when he yelled at her and called her foul names. But she wasn’t done yet.

The second blow was for how he grabbed her hair and threw her to the floor, making her clean up after him. As she swung, her fury grew.

The third was for all the times he got drunk and beat her to a pulp. Mônica was one of 1.9 million Africans enslaved in Brazil between 1597 and 1888.To whom would she complain?

The fourth was for the children she never had. And the fifth – and final – blow was for how he raped her whenever he wanted. 

She just wouldn’t take it any more. She had to take back her life – by taking his.

When the authorities arrived, she claimed he had fallen on his axe ... five times.

Her revenge was sweet – and instead of being executed, she was flogged and sent to a penal colony. Her long nightmare was finally over. Sometimes we must defend ourselves against brutality by any means necessary! How are you liberating yourself from oppression?

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