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As many of you know, Sisterhood Agenda’s SEA: Sisterhood Empowerment Academy is our eco-friendly headquarters based in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.
About the U.S. Virgin Islands
The U.S. Virgin Islands is a U.S. territory like Puerto Rico. In 1917, the United States bought the Virgin Island territories from Denmark for $25 million (nearly $500 million in today’s dollars) as a strategic position against a European invasion. Many of us are not familiar with the U.S. Virgin Island’s slavery past.
For example, Coral Bay in St. John is of one of the most famous slave revolts in history. There was a revolution in 1733 as enslaved African men, women, and children captured the fort in Coral Bay and took over the island for nearly nine months, including all of plantations.
According to local historians:
“Though the slaves were treated cruelly, they had numerous triumphs – many of them heralded by women – eventually causing enslavers to abandon the institution.”
The Three Queens
Most people have heard of the courageous crusader Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. But do you know about Kitty, Polly and Katurah, known as the Three Queens? Kitty, Polly and Katurah lead one of the largest slave escapes in Virgin Islands history.
In 1838, the British freed the slaves of their West Indies territories (Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda and Anegada). Neighboring islands (St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John) heard the news and decided they wanted to be free, too.
More than a century later, in 1840, Kitty, Polly and Katurah, along with eight enslaved men, stole a boat and escaped to Tortola.
Celebrate Freedom Fighters
The Three Queens, Kitty, Polly and Kathurah, are just three of many unsung heroines. There are certainly many more stories about empowered women who participated in revolution and resistence to the institution of slavery all over the world. Sisterhood Agenda is happy to share and continue this legacy of freedom.