Slave Girl Ideologies

753 Words 4 Pages
Harriet Jacobs’ recounting of her life through Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl has not only exposed the great pains she suffered through during her time in slavery but has exposed deep rooted ideologies of black women in American society. Although the actions perpetuating these ideologies have since been abolished, the ideals themselves have been retained through multiple generations of teaching. Jacobs’ story has successfully exposed where the ideologies may have come from through her explanations of sexual corruption, mental manipulations, and power dynamics. Jacob’s made it clear that these struggles were not unique to her but were dealt with by all black women during slavery and in the ‘free world’. These struggles have been most …show more content…
When she is fourteen or fifteen, her owner...begins to bribe her with presents. If these fail...she is whipped or starved into submission to their will” (44). From a young age these black women are taught that all they are good for is pleasing their master or his sons and that to retain any sense of ‘freedom’ they must suffer and accept in silence. The Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State university backs this claim by stating, “ The slavery-era Jezebel, it was claimed, desired sexual relations with white men; therefore, white men did not have to rape black women” (Pilgrim 2002). This thought, that many people followed, placed the blame on the black women that were facing these problems rather than the people committing the …show more content…
Harriet even notes, “Even if I should kneel before him...my weakness would be his triumph” (69). Harriet had to overcome various mental manipulations including threats of abuse to herself, threats and actual abuse to her children, and the promises of freedom if she willfully submitted to Dr. Norcom. What fueled Dr. Norcom’s desires was not just the idea of being sexually involved with Harriet but of having complete control over another human. Harriet

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