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Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861)

by Harriet A. Jacobs

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,522712,767 (3.93)128
Not only one of the last of over one hundred slave narratives published separately before the Civil War, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861) is also one of the few existing narratives written by a woman. It offers a unique perspective on the complex plight of the black woman as slaveand as writer. In a story that merges the conventions of the slave narrative with the techniques of the sentimental novel, Harriet Jacobs describes her efforts to fight off the advances of her master, her eventual liaison with another white man (the father of two of her children), and herultimately successful struggle for freedom. Jacobs' account of her experiences, and her search for her own voice, prefigure the literary and ideological concerns of generations of African-American women writers to come.… (more)
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» See also 128 mentions

English (70)  Spanish (1)  All languages (71)
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
What a heartbreaking memoir, but what an important read. It's writing like this that reminds me of the importance of literature and of writing. This is a piece of history and Linda Brent weaponized her trauma and grief in order to plead for the cause of oppressed black people. It was an honor to read this today knowing how history turned out, and how we're still seeing the effects of that "demon Slavery" plague the nation today. Truly an honor to read such an incredible story with one of the strongest voices I have ever read. ( )
  AldaLyons | Oct 3, 2021 |
Slavery from a woman's point of view. Should be required reading with Douglass' narrative. ( )
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
This was a nonfiction book which I couldn't put down. A gripping story not only of survival, but of a woman determined not to let her personhood be taken from her or her children. She explains very clearly how the act of slavery demeans the slave's physical and spiritual moral, but it also degrades the slaver. She goes a long way to explain the current issues of race we are still struggling with in the United States. It is a long reaching sin. Its tentacles reached up into the northern states as they passed laws complying with the southern states, allowing slaves to be sent back to their masters. That act then removed the African-Americans from the category of personhood in their minds. She makes it clear; it wasn't enough to not be a slaveholder, all of those who didn't cry out against the evil were guilty of supporting it.

This book made me think. What atrocities against others am I complying with in the world today? Complying by my silence? By my lack of involvement? By my not wanting to hear them. What side will my name be listed on in future generations? ( )
  MrsLee | Aug 30, 2021 |
So poignant and under-rated. Told in a writing style similar to other female Victorian novelists. ( )
  dianahaemer | Apr 27, 2021 |
Am listenting to the free Audiobook from an itunes app. You know the ones that state at the begininning of each chapter "This is a Libravox Audio book, Librvox is a part of the public domain" or some such business.

I have this book in Amazon Kindle format in my library as well. I was checking it against what I have listened to and it seems to be a whole other book. So I have two different Goodreads listings for it. I plan on reading the book as well as listening to it. Right now I am on chapter 12 in the audio version.
  Rellwood74 | Feb 18, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jacobs, Harriet A.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Child, Lydia MariaEditormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ellis, R. J.Editormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fleischner, JenniferEditormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foster, Frances SmithEditormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hendrick, WilleneEditormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keilman, GeorgiaEditormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
McKay, Nellie Y.Editormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pine, Joslyn T.Editormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Yellin, JeanEditormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Yellin, Jean FaganEditormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Child, Harriet Annsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dutra, WaltensirTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Evers-Williams, MyrlieIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gates, Henry Louis, Jr.Forewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giovanni, NikkiNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Griffin, Farah JasmineIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jacobs, John S.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martin, Dawn LundyAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meriwether, LouiseIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Painter, Nell IrvinContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, ValerieIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Teller, WalterIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Northerners know nothing at all about Slavery. They think it is perpetual bondage only. They have no conception of the depth of degradation involved in that word, Slavery; if they had, they would never cease their efforts until so horrible a system was overthrown. -A Woman of North Carolina

Rise up, ye women that are at ease! Hear my voice, ye careless daughters! Give ear unto my speech. -Isaiah xxxii.9
Dedication
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I was born a slave; but I never knew it till six years of happy childhood had passed away.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Not only one of the last of over one hundred slave narratives published separately before the Civil War, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861) is also one of the few existing narratives written by a woman. It offers a unique perspective on the complex plight of the black woman as slaveand as writer. In a story that merges the conventions of the slave narrative with the techniques of the sentimental novel, Harriet Jacobs describes her efforts to fight off the advances of her master, her eventual liaison with another white man (the father of two of her children), and herultimately successful struggle for freedom. Jacobs' account of her experiences, and her search for her own voice, prefigure the literary and ideological concerns of generations of African-American women writers to come.

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Book description
One of the first personal narratives written by an ex-slave, this is also one of the few written by a woman. Harriet Jacobs (1813-97) was enslaved, along with her family, in North Carolina under a ruthless master who sexually harassed her. After several failed escape attempts, and several years of hiding, she finally made her way North to freedom, where she was eventually reunited with her children.
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Skyhorse Publishing

An edition of this book was published by Skyhorse Publishing.

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Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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