Slave Narratives Of Phillis Wheatley And Harriet Jacobs

2014 Words9 Pages

Slave Narratives of Phillis Wheatley and Harriet Jacobs

Phillis Wheatley and Harriet Jacobs were both American slaves who became authors. Phillis Wheatley was an enslaved American poet who had her empowering words added to American literature during the past two decades (Adelman). Harriet Jacobs was a woman who was born into American slavery and became a famous author as well. She differs from Phillis Wheatley in the fact that she was able to escape slavery prior to becoming an author. Wheatley was recognized as a child prodigy by her owners, whereas Harriet Jacobs had to escape slavery to become a writer. Harriet Jacobs was not educated by her owners and had to work diligently to free herself to go after her destiny of becoming an author. …show more content…

By the early age of 12, she had already written her first poem. Wheatley was brought to Boston and sold into slavery at a young age. She was purchased by John Wheatley (Baym and Levina). Because of poor health, Wheatley could not preform manual labor and instead became a companion of sorts for Susannah. Susannah Wheatley realized the abilities of Phillis Wheatley and she opened the doors of education to her. Susannah put her into classes, including theology, English, Latin, and Greek. Eventually, ancient history was added to her academic work (Baym and Levina). This was extremely unusual for American black slaves to receive any education or support from their owners during the time frame of Wheatley’s life in the seventeen hundreds. Wheatley was not treated as a regular slave, but instead she was educated, trained, and encouraged to develop her given …show more content…

Harriet Jacobs did escape from slavery; however, later she received her freedom legally. Jacobs is recognized for her autobiography, “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” (Baym, Nina and Robert S. Levina). The autobiography was first used in a newspaper prior to becoming a book. Harriet Jacobs used the pseudonym Linda Brent. She was born into slavery in 1813 in Edenton, North Carolina. She wrote the first book to express the struggles of obtaining freedom for female slaves. In the book, she even addresses the sexual harassment and abuse she received. Also, she wrote about how the slaves tried to protect their roles as women and mothers (Baym, Nina and Robert S.

Show More
Open Document