Essay on The Life Of A Slave Girl By Harriet Jacobs

976 Words Nov 24th, 2014 4 Pages
Slavery was a common practice in the eighteenth century. The experience was traumatic for both black men and black women. They were taken from their native land and forced into long hours of labor. They were physically and mentally abused by slave owners, dehumanized by the system, and ultimately denied their fundamental rights to a favorable American life. Although African men and women were both subjected to the same enslavement, men and women had different experiences in slavery based on their gender. A male perspective can be seen in, My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass. A female perspective is shared in Harriet Jacobs’ narrative titled, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Upon reading both of the viewpoints provided, along with outside research, one can infer that women had it worse.
Women were not only used for their labor, but were also exploited sexually. Slave owners felt they had the right to use black women for their own sexual desires, and felt they had the right to use their bodies for slave breeding. This obscenity between the master and slave were not only psychologically damaging for black women, but would also lead to physical abuse. In her narrative, Ms. Jacobs gives us a firsthand description of the abuse that would occur if she were to upset her master, “Some months before, he had pitched me down stairs in a fit of passion; and the injury I received was so serious that I was unable to turn myself in bed for many days” (Jacobs 932). Slave…

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