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The Life Of A Slave Girl By Harriet Jacobs

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In the slave narrative entitled Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Harriet Jacobs also known as Linda Brent, is faced with a number of decisions, brutal hardships, and internal conflicts that she must cope with as an enslaved black woman. She opens the narrative with a preface that states: “READER, be assured this narrative is no fiction. I am aware that some of my adventures may seem incredible; but they are, nevertheless, strictly true. I have not exaggerated the wrongs inflicted by Slavery” (Jacobs). The tales and stories of Jacobs are very different than those of free white women during this time period. The preface is in place to prepare these white readers for the unbelievable truth behind being an African American enslaved woman. The differing tales and stories between the two groups extends to those of enslaved black men as well. These three distinctive groups in society experience life in the 1800’s and slavery very differently, and Linda argues that black women had it the worst. “Slavery is terrible for men; but it is far more terrible for women” (Jacobs).
As an enslaved black woman, you were to be sold as property to another person, who would be known as your “master” or your “mistress”. This most likely meant that you would be exposed to aggressive sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment. Jacobs assures the reader a number of times that she was subject to this treatment. “Reader, I draw no imaginary pictures of southern homes. I am telling you the plain
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