Harriet Ann Jacobs wrote Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (under the pseudonym Linda Brent) to raise awareness about the experience of black women under slavery. Calling attention especially to the sexual abuse they faced, she hoped to shock average Americans into acknowledging the immortality and cruelty of the system. Even though it often reads like a novel, with the Flint slaveowners coming across as almost cartoonishly evil, it depicts the awful reality of life under total domination.
It's easy to congratulate ourselves for moving beyond slavery, but in what new forms do the racism, sexism, overpowering and violence we see in this story persist today? What is the value of reading a book like Incidents in the modern era? And how does it intersect with and inform our reading of the other novels in our summer reading assignment?
Post your thoughts below by clicking comment!
Mr. Justin Biggs