Harriet Jacobs’ Fight Against Intolerance

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“My master had power and low on his side; I had determined will. There is might in

each” a statement from Harriet Ann Jacobs reflecting her will to overcome the standards of

society (97). Harriet Jacobs’ life revolved around slavery from birth to death. Jacobs was a

mother of two with determination and insight to make choices to change the way of life for

her children. Harriet Jacobs was the first African American women to have her slave narrative

published retelling her life story exposing the years she spent escaping slavery and the latter

helping others escape (Andrews 2). The African American race experienced much intolerance,

especially the women, but Harriet fought back and never gave up.

Harriet, born in the fall of 1813 in North Carolina, spent all of her early life in slave

hood. She did not fully realize that she was a slave until she was six and her first owner, Margret

Horniblow, passed away and she was given to her niece Mary Matilda Norcom (Jacobs 11). This

was when her true struggle began because Mary was not old enough to own Harriet so Mary’s

father Dr. James Norcom became Harriet’s de facto master. Dr. Norcom sexually abused Harriet

and this information remained secret until much later in Harriet’s life (Andrews 1). Harriet had

two children, a boy named Joseph and a girl named Louisa, by a white attorney named Samuel

Tredwell Sawyer (Smith 144). When Harriet was twenty she could no longer take the abuse from

Dr. Norcom so she

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