Slavery in America

1124 Words Jul 14th, 2018 5 Pages
Everyone knows that slavery in America was a difficult time for African Americans. But do people truly understand how hard it was for the African American female slaves? Harriet Jacobs goes into detail about her life as a slave and gives the female perspective under the alias Linda Brent in the novel Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. She states that everything she says in the book is completely true. There are stereotypes of black women during this time: being looked upon as sexual objects and being promiscuous. Jacobs’s attempts to resist the stereotypical images of black women are unsuccessful, even with the presence of her well respected grandmother.
Women Slaves Like Frederick Douglass stated in his narrative, the women slaves
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It is indeed a curse.
Reading Between the Lines
Many scholars find it extremely hard to believe that Jacobs was able to escape all of the sexual clutches of Dr. Flint. They believe that she used a technique call masking while writing the book. Masking allows the storyteller to make accessible a hidden message only to those readers attuned to the secretive signs embedded within the story (Whitsitt). I truly do not believe that Dr. Flint was unable to have his way with Harriet. After all this was slavery and she was his property, actually she was his daughter’s property, but he did not see a difference between the two. In the book it states that when a slave master had had enough of a female slave that he was intimate with, he would sell her off so that he and his family would not have to look at her, especially if a child was conceived because of it. The article “Reading Between the Lines” suggests that Dr. Flint’s intentions of moving Jacobs into the house he was building was his way of keeping her out of his wife’s sight, but not out of his reach, because there was sexual contact between them. I can agree with this conclusion, because I cannot see him going out of his way for a slave that he was not having sex with, be it voluntary or involuntary.
If we are to stick to the book, Jacobs had voluntary, pre-marital sex with Mr. Sands, violation
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