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Two Sides of Slavery from a Female Perspective

incidents_tn.jpgAs I like to post two ebooks at a time to the site, and having decided on Harriet Jacob's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, I came across a gem of a book called Our Nig by another woman named Harriet, Harriet E. Wilson. Both are about slavery and both are written by an African-American female around the 1860s. Differences abound, however. Though she changed the names of the characters and wrote under a pseudonym, Jacobs wrote Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl from her own experiences as a slave in North Carolina. She eventually managed to escape, spent seven years in hiding, and in 1842 started living as a free woman in New York. She was one of many escaped slaves who wrote autobiographical accounts of their experiences in an effort to shape opinions on slavery in the North.

ournig_tn.jpgOur Nig; Or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black, In A Two-Story White House, North. Showing That Slavery's Shadows Fall Even There By "Our Nig" is generally accepted as an autobiographical novel and is the first known novel published by an African-American woman. It tells the story of Frado living in the "free" North who is abandoned by her white mother and placed into indentured servitude. Wilson wrote this novel to show the injustice of the indentured servitude system as well as to raise funds through the sale of the novel to support herself and her two children. Our Nig was not an instant hit upon publication and fell into obscurity for over 120 years. It was republished in 1982 and today remains an important piece of American Literature.

Both books may be downloaded for free from our ebook catalog.


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