Slave Women In African American Literature

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Ex slaves, penned their personal experiences of slavery and contributed to the creation of a new literary genre namely the slave narrative. The importance of slave narratives in modern African American literature is such that the latter could not be understood without an analysis of the literature written by ex slaves. Slave narratives played an important role in the genesis of Afro American literature. As seen in any other genre, in slave narratives too there can be seen some differences between slave narratives written by men and slave narratives written by women. In the case of bondwomen they lived through two-fold submission. Despite of being owned by white men as slaves they were also subject to the sexual claims of white masters. Added to the hardships that derived from their condition as slaves, which their male counterparts also endured, they had to suffer the consequences of being slave women, which involved experiences that were specific to their own kind. Jacobs going through the bitter spell of slavery delivers a baby girl. It is interesting to quote her when she knew that her baby was a girl. She says “Slavery is terrible for men; but it is far more terrible for women. Superadded to the burden common to all, they have wrongs, and…show more content…
You never knew what it is to be a slave; to be entirely unprotected by law or custom; to have the laws reduce you to the condition of a chattel, entirely subject to the will of another. You never exhausted your ingenuity in avoiding the snares, and eluding the power of a hated tyrant; you never shuddered at the sound of his footsteps, and trembled within hearing of his voice. I know I did wrong. No one can feel it more sensibly than I do. The painful and humiliating memory will haunt me to my dying day. Still, in looking back, calmly, on the events of my life, I feel that the slave woman ought not to be judged by the same standard as others” (Incidents,
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