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Harriet Anne Jacobs

Harriet Anne Jacobs

As a part of Audible’s International Women’s Day campaign (which also includes the launch of our audible original series To The Woman), I was lucky enough to work with Audible curating a collection of Badass Women of Literature. To celebrate this week, I’m going to be telling you a little bit about some of the women we chose. A few days ago I posted about Hannah Arendt and today I’m going to be talking about Harriet Anne Jacobs.

HARRIET ANNE JACOBS (1813 - 1897).

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Enslaved at birth and forced to spend 29 years in captivity, Harriet Ann Jacobs would go on to win her freedom and become an abolitionist speaker and reformer.

After escaping slavery via boat in 1842, Harriet took her first steps towards authorship in 1853 when she wrote sever anonymous letters to the New York Tribune. In these letters, Jacobs talked about the sexual abuse of slave women and their mothers' attempts to protect them. By the summer of 1857 Jacobs had completed her true account of her life in slavery and in 1860 she published Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Harriet Jacobs was the first woman to author a fugitive slave narrative in the United States.

One of the most extraordinary things about Jacobs was her determination to portray herself as an agent rather than a victim, a woman motivated by her desire for freedom which was much stronger and more powerful than her fear of sexual retribution.

She was an outstanding and inspirational woman and there’s actually an incredible audiobook of her first book which you can listen to here.

Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt