Incidents In the Life of a Slave Girl

Incidents In the Life of a Slave Girl Summary

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
An Apple Books Classic edition.

Harriet Jacobs was born into slavery on a North Carolina estate, where she remained for the first six years of her life. Harriet and her mother served the mistress of the house, who taught Harriet to read and write and promised the enslaved girl freedom. That promise was broken when Harriet was sold into worse circumstances. She went on to have two children with a white man in the hopes of staving off the attentions of her cruel master, but when her plan backfired, Harriet decided to save her children by risking her own life—and running.

Published in 1861, Jacobs’ autobiography captured what life was like for a fugitive: always afraid, always on the move…for years. Hers is one of the first such accounts written by a woman, offering an intimate perspective on the dehumanizing horrors inflicted upon enslaved women. Jacobs’ autobiography helped mobilize many people to the growing abolitionist movement, and the book shows why Jacobs is considered not only an important abolitionist but also a feminist. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl deepens our understanding of slavery’s legacy.

Book Reviews


Eye opening.5 star

Why was this never taught in school? It is too shameful, that’s why. An amazing account of life for a slave girl. After having visited the south and it’s plantations and museums, I felt compelled to learn more. So glad I have read this, it changes my perspective greatly.55


Sad commentary Re: Slaveholders5 star

Awesome book! Sad stories. Interesting that it is true history from a town I’m quite familiar. Inspirational.55

S D Pettyjohn

The true story of one woman's life in slavery and her emancipation5 star

This is the true story of many lives under slavery Though sometimes hard to endure the terrible hardships and cruelties, nonetheless the lives of real people are revealed: their degradation and triumphs through the horrors of the Antebellum South55


Wow5 star

We all know slavery was bad….but going through her story with her was mind blowing. I think this should be read as part of history classes. It was literally human trafficking, unbelievable.55


Great Book5 star

I struggled to follow the author on certain parts but overall it was a good read.55

Mister Sweetiepie

An important view into history5 star

If there is one lesson to be learned from this story, it should be that government always seeks to protect those in power. Your freedom is the most important right that you have, and we must all be wary of any law, statute, or regulation that seeks to limit our freedom.55


Great read.5 star

Absolutely amazing.55


An amazing and emotional story of truth…4 star

“Let every colored man and woman do this, and eventually we shall cease to be trampled under foot by our oppressors.” Excerpt From Incidents In the Life of a Slave Girl That excerpt was from Harriet, standing up for what she believed. This autobiography of her life is amazing (not the slavery). Her life in what she fought for, FREEDOM, is amazing. She was a very strong woman, she went through a lot. She was born into slavery but she was not mistreated in her early childhood but once she was sold to a new master everything changed. She was sexualizes and had hatred and jealousy put upon her from her new master and mistress. She sacrificed seven years of her life in confinement for the freedom of herself and her children and eventually it was done. Everyone should read a book, any book by an enslaved person to get a better understanding in what the world was like and to really see what slaves went through.45


POV from an Black American Woman5 star

An inspirational and timeless story about womanhood, strength, courage, and determination.55


Soo interesting and educational at one time.5 star

I couldn’t put this book down.55

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