This is Sarah Grimké.

    She was born to a rich plantation family in the American South during the time of slavery. She owned a slave, Hetty, a girl her parents gave her when she was a child. She was absolutely the sort of person whose racism you could justify as being ‘of her time’ and ‘just the way she was raised’.

    And she cited the injustices she saw growing up on the plantation as the motivation for her becoming an abolitionist as an adult.

    When she was a kid, she tried to give bible lessons to the slaves on her Dad’s plantation, and taught her own slave to read and write. As an adult, she and her sister campaigned for the end of slavery. When she found out that one of her brothers had raped one of his own slaves and gotten her pregnant three times, she welcomed her nephews into the family and paid for education for the two that wanted it.

    This was a woman who was raised in a culture of slavery, looked around her as a child and said “hey, wait a minute, we’re all assholes!” and spent the rest of her life trying to put things right.

    It absolutely was a choice.