Book Review: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Ann Jacobs

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is a biography of sorts by Harriet Ann Jacobs, in the book she is known as Linda Brent, a pseudonym which has many of the incidents that are based on her own life experiences; this book is very much something every should read, since it’s not holding back, unless the author tells you she is not wishing to reveal what had been said due to the language that was used.

The book is based in Jacobs own life being a slave, addresses the sexual abuse she and slaves had to endure throughout their life.  While it does mainly focus on Linda Brent, the author also includes other slaves who suffered far worse than what she did – those who were killed for something that seems so minor.

Although it would be so easy to say that in those days – this book would have taken place in between the times of Jacobs living so 1813 to 1861 – this book still has something to say in the present day, many might think of the struggle black men and women are going through in America, Ferguson being one that comes to my mind; yet this isn’t the only things that black men and women go through, there is more to it that physical abuse, there is also the mental abuse too.  Racism is still deep within white people’s culture, but many white people are just too blind to see it, or don’t want to admit that they might be racist.

The book is very much something everyone should read, while you are hoping that Linda gets to be free and move to the North, you also learn that although in North America there isn’t slavery like their was in the South, black men and women are still treated badly, they are still being looked down upon and although it’s no where near as bad as it was in the South, it’s not as big an improvement as Linda had hoped it would be.

Through Linda’s; and more to the point Harriet’s; eyes, you get a glimpse of what life was like for a black woman to be born into a slave family, you see her struggle to be free and then you see her try her best, without care for her own health, to get her children’s freedom.

This book is just the pinnacle of books that many people should be reading to have their eyes open, or to learn more about the tragic history of white people’s past.

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