Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl By Linda Brent

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In Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Harriet Jacobs, writing under the pseudonym Linda Brent, writes autobiographically of the painful and tragic struggles faced by her and her family as slaves in the South during the 19th century. As Brent depicts the various obstacles and struggles she endured in her journey to freedom she shows how “slavery is terrible for men; but it is far more terrible for women” by giving insight to the sexual abuse female slaves were subject to and the aftermath of this sexual abuse. In the following review of Brent’s work, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, I will include a summary of the book’s contents along with an analysis of its major argument and purpose to give understanding to the atrocities face by …show more content…

As discussed in class, slavery became a cornerstone of wealth and status for colonial Americans in the 17th century. Before then indentured servants were used for hard work and labor in order to pay off debts and passage to colonial America, while slave trade was dominated by Royal Africa Company. After Royal Africa Company’s slave trade monopoly was ended in 1689, slavery then became inexpensive since acquiring slaves was easier and slavery developed into a lucrative business. In accordance to a law declared in 1662 in Virginia, “When a child is born to one free parent and one slave parent, the child’s status will be inherited from the mother,” thus causing the sexual abuse of slave women to be more acceptable in society’s perspective. Slaveholders were then abusing their power and taking advantage of young slave women resulting in the birth of many mulatto children, where slaveholders would then sell their children for profit to other slave owners. When connecting Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl to the material learned in class, Brent provides a firsthand account of the sexual abuse faced by slave women and the injustice faced by their children as they are born into slavery; although they are fathered by white slaveholders. Although Brent’s affair with Mr. Sands was not one of abuse and violence, Brent’s children, Benny and Ellen, were born into slavery and seen as property along with their mother. Brent’s children drive her actions and pursuit for freedom while enduring the sexual advances and abuse from Dr. Flint and threats to separate her from her children, which was faced by many slave

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