Welcome to the Blog Blitz for Carved in Ebony by Jasmine L. Holmes, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: Carved in Ebony
Author: Jasmine L. Holmes
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: November 2, 2021
Genre: Christian History / Biography
Through the lives of Elizabeth Freeman, Nannie Helen Burroughs, Amanda Berry Smith, Mamie Till, and others, author and speaker Jasmine Holmes shares the significant role that Black women have played in the formation of our faith–and are playing in our formation as modern-day women of faith.
As these historical figures take the stage with Holmes, you will be inspired by what the stories of these women can teach us about education, birth, privilege, and so much more. Carved in Ebony will take you past the predominately white, male contributions that seemingly dominate history books to discover how Black women have been some of the main figures in defining the landscape of American history and faith.
Come along on Jasmine’s journey and be encouraged by the powerful and persuasive Black women of our past so that you can help inspire a better, more inclusive future.
Chapter 1 – “A Midwife at the Birth of a Nation: Elizabeth Freeman” from Carved in Ebony by Jasmine Holmes; pp. 34–35, 37–38; 766 words (edited)
There is power in knowing what our founding fathers described as our “inalienable rights.” Elizabeth Freeman knew them when she was petitioning for her freedom, and we would do well to know them as we inhabit our modern lives. Just a few overheard words from the Sheffield Declaration changed the course of Elizabeth’s life, and history as a whole; how much more can our understanding of the wealth of words penned about our invaluable rights change our own lifetimes?
This legacy sounds intimidating when painted in such heroic strokes, but, looking at the rest of Elizabeth’s life, we see that her faithfulness was lived out in the day-to-day. That court appearance was just one aspect of who she was.
Elizabeth wasn’t a brilliant Civil Rights lawyer who spent her entire life advocating for legislative change. She was a domestic worker and a midwife who spent most of her time serving others and, according to her headstone, keeping her word. That part of her life—the part where she was faithful every day—is something I relate to much more than the freedom suit.
Look back at the words on her headstone: She neither wasted time nor property. She never violated a trust, nor failed to perform a duty.
She was a good steward of her time and her belongings. She was trustworthy. She applied herself diligently to every duty. In this sense, her advocacy for her freedom is not the defining characteristic of her life but an outworking of her true character. Elizabeth Freeman is not merely memorable because of her court case; rather, she is memorable because she had the type of character that made her a good steward of the freedom she had been given by God, giving her an understanding that she was not merely property. She never violated the contract that all citizens of this country pledged allegiance to, and did not neglect to perform her duty as one of the shapers of the nation that we now reside in.
Elizabeth Freeman wasn’t a trailblazing activist. And yet, I believe that it was because Elizabeth herself was a woman of her word and a woman of principle that she could not sit idly by while her nation reneged on the contract that it had made with its people, including its enslaved people.
That is an example I want to follow. A woman who is faithfully about her work each and every day, but willing to step outside of that work and outside of her comfort zone to hold a nation or an individual accountable. A woman who advocates every day on a small scale—for myself, my husband, my children, my loved ones—and isn’t afraid to advocate on a larger scale when the occasion calls for it.
Elizabeth and Me
I am still learning what it means to be a woman and an advocate.
Sometimes, it seems that our Christian ideals of femininity prize timidity over strength, placidity over courage, and docility over principle. But we have to remember that our culture has a way of shaping the Word of God to fit into our own ideals of what truly shapes a woman of God. Esther advocated for Israel with her husband, the king. Ruth advocated for herself with her future husband, Boaz. Deborah advocated for Israel as their judge.
And Elizabeth Freeman advocated for her freedom from the ungodly institution of American slavery and spent the rest of her life advocating for mothers who were bringing their babies into the world.
That part of the story is one of my favorites, because for me, advocacy looks like following in Elizabeth Freeman’s footsteps in the birth field. It looks like learning all that I can about the history of gynecology and its adverse effects on Black women’s bodies, as well as the modern-day attitudes and assumptions about Black health in general and Black maternal health specifically that lead to disparities in outcomes. It looks like knowing my rights when I enter a hospital and being able to advocate for my rights and the rights of my child. It means seeking as much education as I can to someday become a doula and advocate for the rights of other women.
Here’s what I love: we don’t all have to fight on the same front. We need midwives and doulas—we need educators, legislators, prison reformers, police reformers, wives, mothers, and sisters all on the front lines. As we strive to be faithful in whatever space the Lord has for us, this is the kind of strength that I love about Black women.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
(1) winner will receive a copy of The Happy Crab by Layla & Kevin Palmer, Prepare Him Room by Susie Larson, and Make Their Day by Karen Ehman.
Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight October 27, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on November 3, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
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