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Mar 23, 2015
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is an autobiography of a young woman who - eventually - escaped from slavery. It's an interesting look into the life of a slave in the mid-1800s. A little confusing to me is that the book is written by Harriet Ann Jacobs yet the main character is called Linda. I'm not sure why that discrepancy. It isn't explained.

Most of the biographies I've read about people who have escaped slavery or were emancipated during the Civil War were of field slaves. Linda was a house slave and her story is quite different from any I've read before. She had a much different life - overshadowed by the evil that is slavery - than the field hands. In many ways, she was treated much kinder. She learned to read and write. She had some freedom to come and go and visit her relatives. And yet, she only had these freedoms at the whim of her master. Although a learned man and a doctor, he wasn't a noble character.

Fascinating look into a depraved society that kept their fellow humans in bondage and the creative and cunning ways the oppressed found to escape that bondage. Worth reading if you're at all interested in this subject. The author goes into detail about the evils faced, but also goes into detail about the kindness of others who helped her on her journey to freedom.

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