ePUB Harriet Ann Jacobs ñ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Written by Herself ñ

The true story of an individual's struggle for self identity self preservation and freedom Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl remains among the few extant slave narratives written by a woman This autobiographical account chronicles the remarkable odyssey of Harriet Jacobs 1813–1897 whose dauntless spirit and faith carried her from a life of servitude and degradation in North Carolina to liberty and reunion with her children in the NorthWritten and published in 1861 after Jacobs' harrowing escape from a vile and predatory master the memoir delivers a powerful and unflinching portrayal of the abuses and hypocrisy of the master slave relationship Jacobs writes frankly of the horrors she suffered as a slave her eventual escape after several unsuccessful attempts and her seven years in self imposed exile hiding in a coffin like garret attached to her grandmother's porchA rare firsthand account of a courageous woman's determination and endurance this inspirational story also represents a valuable historical record of the continuing battle for freedom and the preservation of family


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    Harriet Jacobs book is quite a nuanced account of slavery from the point of view of one who is not physically abused This does not make slavery any better being owned and used and having no free will cannot ever be anything but terrible but it was less painful For most slave owners slaves were extremely expensive farm animals and only the richest who could afford 'herds' of them would be able to maltreat them on a continual basis If you want hard work from your oxen and you want to breed from your cows they have to be kept healthy and in good condition Well fed rested and with down time Not a life of ease or quality not one without the whip but one designed that the animals will do their job dawn to dusk and breed on a regular basis So it was with slavesHowever there is a line in a book Caribbean Slave Society and Economy A Student Reader by Beckles and Shepherd that says Within one year of the free market being established in Kingston it was run by slaves much to everyone's satisfactionWhat does that say? It says quite a few things It says that the slaves had time and plots of land big enough to grow produce than sufficient for their needs and of a high quality It says that some slave masters allowed slaves time to go to market and sell their produce once a week which is allowing entrepreneurship It says that the slaves were well organised and commercially savvy It says they had good customer service skills What it says most of all was that Slaves were all victimised but not all became victims And that is why there are so many successful Black islands in the Caribbean But this is not to blame those were victims It must have been very hard to have the strength of mind and character not to be when one is owned beaten and treated far worse than the family dog The best book I could recommend on slaves not being victims is Marlon James' The Book of Night Women A very enjoyable and instructive book that will have you cheering and rooting for some characters that do some very evil things You might have to listen to it rather than read it though as it is almost all in Jamaican dialectRead Jan 2013 reviewed Aug 2016