Incidents... Life of A Slave Girl

Harriet Jacobs

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Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl opens with an introduction in which the author, Harriet Jacobs, states her reasons for writing an autobiography. Her story is painful, and she would rather have kept it private, but she feels that making it public may help the antislavery movement. Jacobs uses the pseudonym Linda Brent to narrate her first-person account.

Journal 3: Adversity

Define adversity. Facing adversity is not always about success. Sometimes failure is the adversity a person has to face. Discuss a time you have faced adversity. In what ways were you able to overcome the obstacle, or did you not succeed? What is/are the most important factor(s) in overcoming adversity? (i.e. individual determination, education, community or parental support, etc.). Why? What life lessons did you learn from facing such difficulty?

Readings from the Slave Narratives

Unchained Memories Reading from the Slave Narratives

Unchained Memories is a 2003 documentary film about the stories of former slaves interviewed during the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers' Project and preserved in the WPA Slave Narrative Collection. This HBO film interpretation directed by Ed Bell and Thomas Lennon is a compilation of slave narratives, narrated by actors, emulating the original conversation with the interviewer. The slave narratives may be the most accurate in terms of the everyday activities of the enslaved, serving as personal memoirs of more than two thousand former slaves. The documentary depicts the emotions of the slaves and what they endured. The "Master" had the opportunity to sell, trade, or kill the enslaved, for retribution should one slave not obey.
Narrated by: Whoopi Goldberg
Sarah Gudger, North Carolina (Vol. 11)— read by LaTanya Richardson
Charley Williams, Oklahoma (Vol. 13) – read by Ruben Santiago-Hudson
Martin Jackson, Texas (Vol. 16) - read by Robert Guillaume
Henry Coleman, South Carolina (Vol. 14) – read byRoscoe Lee Browne
Jennie Proctor, Texas (Vol. 16) – read by Oprah Winfrey
Elizabeth Sparks, Virginia (Vol. 17) – read by Angela Bassett
Rosa Starke, South Carolina (Vol. 14) --
Cato Carter, Texas (Vol. 16) – read by Roger Guenveur Smith
Mary Reynolds, Texas (Vol. 16) – read by Angela Bassett
Rev. Ishrael Massie, Virginia –
Fannie Berry, Virginia – read by CCH Pounder
Mary Estes Peters, Arkansas (Vol. 2) – read by Jasmine Guy
Sarah Ashley, Texas (Vol. 16) – read by LaTanya Richardson
Charles Grandy, Virginia — read by Ruben Santiago-Hudson
William Colbert, Alabama (Vol. 1) – read by Courtney B. Vance
Katie Darling, Texas (Vol. 16) – read by Jasmine Guy Jasmine Guy
Vinnie Brunson, Texas (Vol. 3) – read by Vanessa L. Williams
Fannie Berry, read by CCH Pounder
Jack & Rosa Maddox, Texas (Vol. 7) – read by Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee
Mary Reynolds, Texas (Vol. 16) – read by Angela Bassett
Louisa Adams, North Carolina (Vol. 11) – read by LaTanya Richardson


Child Slavery

It is a blot on the face of humanity that we have not yet wiped out child slavery. Not only does child slavery persist, but the number of child slaves, 5.5 million, has remained constant in the last two decades.

Incidents Chapters 1-5

Read Zora Neal Hurston's essay "How It Feels To Be Colored Me" and watch James Earl Jones read Frederick Douglass' speech "What to the Slave is the 4th of July?"

As you watch the oration of the speech, hollow along with the transcript provided on the website.

These sources will assist you in answering your Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl Questions.

Incidents Chapters 7-11

"Speech to the Virginia Convention" by Patrick Henry

In this famous speech, Patrick Henry (1736-1799) denounces the British king and urges that colonist to fight for independence. Addressing the Virginia Provincial Convention on the eve of the american Revolution, in 1775, Henry gives a fiery defense of liberty.

Click on the link below to listen an audio recording of the speech.