A slave narrative is to tell a slave's story and what they have been through. Six thousand former slaves from North America told about their lives during the 18th and 19th centuries. About 150 narratives were published as separate books or articles most slaves were born in the last years of the slave regime or during the Civil War. Some Slaves told about their experiences on plantations, in cities, and on small farms. Slave narratives are one of the only ways that people today know about the way slaves lived, what they did each day, and what they went through. There are three famous slave narratives in history, Incidents in The Life of A Slave Girl by Harriet A. Jacobs, Narrative of The Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick douglass, and The Narrative of William W. Brown, a Fugitive Slave by William W. Brown.
The book Incidents in the life of a slave girl written by Harriet A. Jacobs is a slave narrative that was published in 1861. Harriet starts out by talking about her childhood. She does not know she is a slave until after her mother dies when she is six. Harriet hid her identity throughout the book by calling herself Linda Brent. Harriet A. Jacobs was an African-American writer who escaped from slavery, moved to New York were she wrote her autobiography, and became an abolitionist speaker. This slave narrative became a really powerful book in the 1900’s. One review about the book from an unknown reviewer, that was published in the Anti-Slavery Bugle was “simple and attractive—you feel less as though you are reading a book, than talking with the woman herself.” This quote is true, she gets her point across in a simple manner.
“We could have told them a different story. We could have given them a chapter of wrongs and sufferings, that would have touched their hearts, if they had any hearts to feel for the colored people. We could have told them how the poor old slave-mother had toiled, year after year, to earn eight hundred dollars to buy her son Phillip's right to his own earnings; and how that same Phillip paid the expenses of the funeral, which they regarded as doing so much credit to the master. We could also have told them of a poor, blighted young creature, shut up in a living grave for years, to avoid the tortures that would be inflicted on her, if she ventured to come out and look on the face of her departed friend.”(p. 164)
In this passage follows the death of Aunt Nancy and describes the appearance of her funeral, Harriet strikes against the “myth” of the happy slave and tries to get northern readers to truly understand how mean slaveholders are.
Frederick Douglass was famous because he was a former slave who became an abolitionist author and speaker. Frederick was born a slave and escaped at age 20. He detailed his remarkable life in his famous autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave, which was published in 1845. Frederick strongly disliked slavery,...