Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

"I was born a slave; but I never knew it till six years of happy childhood had passed away." In clear and unshrinking prose, Harriet Jacobs—writing under the pseudonym of "Linda Brent"—relates the story of her girlhood and adolescence as a slave in North Carolina and her eventual escape: a bildungsroman set in the complex terrain of a chauvinist, white-supremacist society. Resolutely addressing women readers, rather than men, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl sought to make white women understand the ways that the threat of sexual violence shaped the lives of enslaved black women and children.