TeacherServe Essays

How to Read a Slave Narrative

Author: Andrews, William L.

Offering a diversity of voices, slave narratives represent an influential tradition in American literature. Southern response to the Turner revolt spurred anti-slavery agitation, including the publication of slave narratives. Douglass’s Narrative links literacy and freedom, while My Bondage and My Freedom expanded the scope of the slave narrative to critique racism. Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl challenges the image of the female slave as victim.

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Subjects: Literature; History; Education Studies; African American Literature; Enslaved Persons; Fugitives from Slavery; Slave Narratives