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Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is an autobiography by a young mother and fugitive slave published in 1861. Harriet Ann Jacobs used the pseudonym Linda Brent. The book documents Jacobs' life as a slave and how she gained freedom for herself and for her children. Jacobs contributed to the genre of slave narrative by using the techniques of sentimental novels "to address race and gender issues." She explores the struggles and sexual abuse that female slaves faced on plantations as well as their efforts to practice motherhood and protect their children when their children might be sold away.
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A viable alternative to male save narratives. The specific problems faced by female slaves are clearly portrayed. (Ray Doyle, West Chester Univ.)From the Back Cover:
These two slave narratives expand our knowledge of the differing ways males and females coped with enslavement and later ordeals in flight. This popularly–priced anthology contains the often taught Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs and the recently discovered A True Tale of Slavery by John S. Jacobs, her younger brother, now reprinted for the first time.
After Harriet s owner, a physician, repeatedly abused her, she escaped his sexual advances for a time by entering into a relationship with a local attorney. Her owner continued to harass her, and she sought refuge in a crawlspace where she lived in hiding. After her escape to the North, she published her narrative.
John S. Jacobs walked away as he put it, from his owner, a congressman. He sailed on a whaling ship and educated himself. He then became a paid agent of the Anti–Slavery Society, made a lecturing trip with Frederick Douglass, and finally settled in London, where he remained until it was safe for a fugitive to return to the North. He wrote his story for a London Sunday school journal where it was published in 1861.
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