In episode 012 of Her Voice Echoes we continue to hear about the life of Harriet Jacobs, a woman born in 1813 in Edenton, NC. Harriet was enslaved for 27 years, eventually escaping to the North, where in 1861 she published a book called, “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.”
Episode 012 includes chapters 27-29 of the book. Harriet is in the last couple of years of her time spent in her attic hideaway above her grandmother’s storeroom. She continues to suffer physical pain and mental anguish, while her enslaver and abuser, Dr. Flint, continues his hunt for her. In addition, she worries about the future of her children and takes action to ensure their freedom, as their father is now married and the Flints are up to all kinds of mischief.
As chapter 29 ends, Harriet is finally making her way to the North and the Free States.
The book was 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.
Here are the names of the fictionalized characters and their real counterparts:
Linda Brett: Harriet Jacobs
William Brett: John Jacobs
Harriet’s father: Elijah Knox
Harriet’s mother: Delilah Horniblow
Aunt Martha: Molly Horniblow
Benny Sands: Joseph Sawyer
Ellen Sands: Louisa Sawyer
Ruth Nash: Margaret Horniblow
Dr. Flint: Dr. James Norcom
Mrs. Flint: Mary Curtis Norcom
Emily Flint: Mary Matilda Norcom
Mr. Sands: Samuel Tredwell Sawyer
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