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Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861)
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Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is the immensely powerful autobiography of Harriet Jacobs, who wrote under a pen name. A feminist work, she uses her experiences to state and restate her belief that though all unhappiness sprung from being a slave, she had to endure worse, being also a woman. Her experiences show that the only refuge and relief to be found were in other women, and also that women were less able to attempt freedom when that would mean leaving their children behind. Her autobiography is the account of her struggle to achieve that freedom and respect and redefine herself. Her life is a testament to her grandmother's credo: "He that is willing to be a slave, let him be a slave."
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