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Slave Narrative, Autobiography, Biography
Dr. Flint, Mr. Sands, Mrs. Flint, Aunt Martha, Linda Brent
1861, by Harriet Jacobs
Autobiography, slave narrative
The book documents Jacobs's life as a slave and how she gained freedom for herself and for her children. She explores the struggles and sexual abuse that female slaves faced as well as their efforts to practice motherhood and protect their children when their children might be sold away.
The main theme of the book is a female experience of slavery. Jacobs addresses White Northern women who fail to comprehend the evils of slavery. She makes direct appeals to their humanity to expand their knowledge and influence their thoughts about slavery as an institution.
Linda Brent (Harriet Jacobs), Aunt Martha, Benjamin, William, Benny, Ellen, Dr. Flint, Mrs. Flint, Emily Flint, Mr. Sands, Mr. Bruce, The second Mrs. Bruce
Harriet Jacobs was born into slavery in Edenton, North Carolina in 1813. When she was a child, her mistress taught her to read and write, skills that were extremely rare among slaves. At twelve years old, she fell into the hands of an abusive owner who harassed her sexually. When he threatened to sell her children, she hid in a tiny crawlspace under the roof of her grandmother's house. After staying there for seven years, spending much of her time reading the Bible and also newspapers, she finally managed to escape to New York in 1842.
The book was promoted via the abolitionist networks and was well received by the critics. Jacobs arranged for a publication in Great Britain, which appeared in the first months of 1862, soon followed by a pirated edition. Incidents was immediately acknowledged as a contribution to Afro-American letters. The new interest in women and minority issues that came with the American civil rights movement also led to the rediscovery of Incidents. The first new editions began to appear at the end of the 1960s.
“There is something akin to freedom in having a lover who has no control over you, except that which he gains by kindness and attachment”
“God judges men by their hearts, not by the color of their skins.”
“The brightest skies are always foreshadowed by dark clouds”
“There are wrongs which even the grave does not bury.”
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