Karen's Reviews > Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs
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F_50x66
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Jun 15, 09

bookshelves: multicultural-literature
Read in January, 2002

What I learned from this book was to never give up! Harriet Jacobs, a slave a plantation thinks it's time to run away when her "owner" starts to take a sexual interest in her. She hides in the attic of her gradma's cottage for about 7 years(a space about 6ft. x 3ft., also she had to lay down in order to fit!) before she finds an opportunity to escape. She literally watched her kids grow up through the cracks of the attic. I just don't know if I have it in me.

I said that I would like to give the Fredrick Douglass account to the Afro-American boys in my class, well this one would go to the girls. The reason is that for women of that day, their hole life was determined by their body and how SOME man was going to use it. That was how you were defined. Fredrick Douglass was fighting for equality, Harriet Jacobs was never going to see it, could she even conceptualize it even for one second! She was running away yes to be free, but mostly so that she wouldn't be a sex slave, afterall she did not even consider running away until her "master" started making unwanted advances at her. We all know that in the past women were defined by the relation to the men in their lives, and in many places still are. I think this is a lesson we must pass on to our girls so that this is not how they judge their self worth. For instance, why is it that even today in this country the most important thing for a woman is to be attractive, but for a man, its to be successful? And then we wonder why women have such poor self-esteem. Anyway, I'm afraid Ive gone on a tirade. As you can see, I feel very passionately about women's issues. Which Is why I enjoyed this book even more than the other slave narratives I've read. And I'm sure you will too.
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