Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself: With Related Documents
Much of what is known about the experience of slavery comes from first-person accounts written by formerly enslaved men. In this volume, Jennifer Fleischner examines the first- and best-known female account of life under, and escape from, slavery -- Harriet Jacobs' autobiography. In her introduction, Fleischner shows how Jacobs used the written word to liberate herself and promote the end of slavery by carefully discussing her sexual exploitation as a slave in ways that would inspire sympathy in -- and not offend -- her Victorian white, middle-class, female audience. The rich collection of related documents that accompany Jacobs' complete narrative -- including a selection of Jacobs' letters and her brother's account of some of the same incidents Jacobs describes -- illuminate Jacobs' life, her thoughts about writing, and her relationships with white women abolitionists. Document headnotes, a chronology, questions for consideration, a selected bibliography, and a chart of the pseudonyms Jacobs used for her real-life characters further enrich this important contribution to the history of slavery in America.