Juliana Grisales V.
April 27, 2009
Paper Option # 3-
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
by Harriet Jacobs and
by Eric Foner.
“These God- Breathing machines are no more, in the sight of their masters, than the
plant, or the horses hey tend” (Jacobs, 11).
In the times when America, a “civilized
country”, was still developing economically and politically; “the superior race”, the whites,
completely subjugated “the inferior race”, the Negro race- slaves. Black people were
considered property; therefore, they did not have any rights or liberties. Nevertheless, Black
people were aware that they deserved to have the same rights as white people had. “The
slave who dared to feel like a man” (Jacobs, 17). Slaves always kept their desire for freedom;
therefore, some slaves tried to gain power for themselves and to exercise control over their
lives by attempting to runaway, rebelling to their masters, and trying to buy their own
freedom. Unfortunately, most of them did not have any luck, “I saw a runaway slave led
through the streets in chains to jail, pale, yet full of determination” (Jacobs, 21). However,
other slaves were successful on running away to the northern states or to Canada. “No one
knows how many slaves succeeded in escaping….a rough estimate would be around 1,000
per year” (Foner, 229).
The future of blacks was curse by slavery and slave women had
fewer opportunities of escaping from this cursed life. “If God has bestowed beauty upon her,