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Publisher's Summary

One of the first personal narratives written by an ex-slave, this is also one of the few written by a woman. Harriet Jacobs (1813-97) was enslaved, along with her family, in North Carolina under a ruthless master who sexually harassed her. After several failed escape attempts, and several years of hiding, she finally made her way North to freedom, where she was eventually reunited with her children. The book was published in 1861.

Public Domain (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"One of the major autobiographies of the African American tradition." (Henry Louis Gates, Jr.)
"Harriet Jacobs in her narrative reveals how she refused to be victimized within her own mind, but rather chose to act instead from a steadfast conviction of her own worth.... Hers is an example worth emulating even in these modern times." (Louise Meriwether)

What listeners say about Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Written by Herself

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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A precious perspective

What made the experience of listening to Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Written by Herself the most enjoyable?

This first-person perspective had me using the dictionary feature on the Kindle several times. Very eloquent and honest. I'm glad this story was recorded so we can all enjoy it for decades to come.

What about Jean Barrett’s performance did you like?

Barrett's narration brings the story to life in a way that makes you want to give Harriet Jacobs a hug afterward!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I couldn't pull myself away. I normally don't listen to Audible during the weekend, but this story didn't let me go!

Any additional comments?

Add this story to your list. Jacobs attitude isn't about racism, it's about how we can fight to make this world a better place for our children. She speaks of how different the people around her would be without "the demon of Slavery" rather than judge others. What an example.

6 people found this helpful

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Incredible Journey

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, I would recommend this book in audio format. No matter where I am, my place in the book is always kept for me.

What did you like best about this story?

I loved Harriet and her voice. She says the words that she was thinking. Her pain is evidenced when she faces challenges thrust upon her family by the evil doctor.

Which scene was your favorite?

The part where she hid under the stairs or crawlspace knowing she cold not let her family know where she was---for that action would place them in danger.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me somber in reflecting the true journey of American slaves.

Any additional comments?

This book was especially wonderful to read in February, Black History Month. Now I will read another true story called "12 Years a Slave". A real appreciation for the history of African American brothers and sisters whose stories were silenced but now are loud and proud. A story that needs to be told and lessons to be learned.

5 people found this helpful

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Stunning insight into the life of African slaves

First off, the story is incredible in itself and it is very well written. The performance of the narrator is as well. Definitely worth your time!
Loved it!

4 people found this helpful

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Truly Amazing

I loved it and the story moved me. What can I say but the truth in this story...an ugly American truth! Narrator was easy to listen to and made the story come alive!

4 people found this helpful

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Incidents

This was well-written, and the author's genuine righteous anger came through and communicated the indignation of treating humans as property.

2 people found this helpful

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  • AD
  • 03-14-20

Most Incredible, yet a sad story.

This story was wonderfully told, it was very encouraging to all whom are decent of slaves. The Narrator's performance was excellent and moving. I am thankful to have found This book.

2 people found this helpful

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A true eye opener

This is a most well-written account of the terrible life of a slave in America. It has torn my heart to shreds.

2 people found this helpful

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Insightful

With every book I read about America’s history of slavery one would think the stories become redundant boring. Instead, I keep finding myself over and over shaking my head and disparaged how humankind could ever do such things. There’s so much to say on this topic but mostly I just can’t find the words in disbelief.
Insightful look into slavery from true accounts.

2 people found this helpful

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Exceptional

This book exceeded my expectations. Not only did the author live a fantastic life , but she retold it well. I highly recommend this book.

2 people found this helpful

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A tale of survival against all odds

The utter despair of not having control of ones life or this of ones loved ones and the struggle to live a life with dignity as others see you as subhuman comes through loud and clear in this work. It is also a testament of what a person can endure when the stakes are high enough. The peculiar institution that the slavery apologists tried to paint a rosy color on by saying the slaves were happy to be controlled and taken care of his dismantled as the feeble stack of cards it is.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Roxylu
  • 08-05-18

Makes you think!

It's hard to put into words how I felt listening to this book. Quite harrowing in places but she does not over dwell on the many horrors bestowed on people in the same position as she. She was obviously a very driven girl to experience all she went through and still have the inner strength to carry on. For her to relive her life story, through her own words, be made into this book must have taken great strength. At times I felt I was there it was so detailed. She was courageous, strong willed and did not deserve to live even one day of her harrowing life. An amazing, emotional and thought provoking read. It left me feeling quite numb.