The Life Of Slavery: Harriet Ann Jacobs

1666 Words 7 Pages
Slaves were deprived of their lives and always degraded to some value less than that of any other human. Harriet Ann Jacobs, one of the many African Americans that stood up against slavery, wrote this autobiography to inform us, the readers, how slavery ruined her life. How it stripped her of her innocence and the hardships she had along the way to obtain her freedom. This narrative was published back in 1861 and at this point in time president Abraham Lincoln was working on abolishing slavery. This was only 2 years before the Emancipation Proclamation goes into effect. However, Harriet Jacobs was born back in 1813, this is 48 years of slavery she fought through. Speaking as “Linda” in this narrative, she describes to us how life as a slave …show more content…
Slaves were all treated differently therefore, slaves’ lives were all different. Before Harriet’s mother passed away, she tells us how her mother adored her owner, how even though she was a slave, she enjoyed being there with her. After the passing of her mother, Harriet then realizes that she’s a slave yet she still doesn’t mind that because she loves her owner. She does not even mention freedom. Now we see that after her beloved owner passes away, that she then hates slavery and tells us that she has the worst life in the world. She was never beaten or whipped by her new owner Dr. Flint but she was beaten emotionally as he attempted to sexually abuse her at the young age of 15, and this was the case for many slave girls. Many of them gave birth to children with the father being their owner. The men however were constantly being beaten and whipped. Women were at times beaten depending on the master, but men had it worse in the sense of physical abuse. Women had it worse because they were not capable of many of the duties assigned to them and were also sexually abused by their masters. Children were also put to work as soon as they could. And as soon as seen fit, …show more content…
This was also an idea that was in Harriet’s mind, however that quickly changed within the short period that she was there with Mrs. Bruce. There is no stated law that said that slavery was not allowed in the northern states. In fact, William was a slave to Mr. Sands while he was in the north until William ran away. The only difference is that it is less common in the north states and in some cases frowned upon but not illegal so slavery was still there. They were however still treated the same. They were inferior to whites and were treated poorly. Yes, they could be alone and not be harassed so technically they were free but that still didn’t live up to the expectation of equality that slaves had in mind. When Harriet rides the train and she sees that all the immigrants were thrown in the back of the train in a dirty smelly box, she then realizes that this is not what she expected. Even more so after the dinner she has with Mrs. Bruce when she is asked to let the baby sit in the chair and for her to stand while all the other colored workers there could sit, which all were about one shade lighter than her. Harriet did not stand for this in the north. She had enough of that treatment back in the south. She argued until she could sit with the rest of the people at the table. One server even said that he didn’t sign up to serve “niggers”. Harriet stated in her narrative, “I was, in fact,

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