In episode 005 of Her Voice Echoes we hear the early life of Harriet Jacobs, a woman born a slave in 1813 in Edenton, NC. Harriet spent 27 years as a slave, eventually escaping to the North, where in 1861 she published a book called, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Episode 005 includes chapters 1-4 of that book.
The book is an autobiographical novel written to appeal to the white women of the North. It combines the genres of slave narrative and sentimental novel and focuses on the themes of family, motherhood, chastity and sexual oppression. It was considered bold and indelicate at the time it was written. Harriet doesn’t dance around the topic of white men abusing black women. It was initially published as a serialized novel in a newspaper and then published as a book in 1861 under the pseudonym Linda Brent.
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