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Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl


by Harriet Jacobs

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Race Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Chapter.Paragraph

Quote #4

It was a grand opportunity for the low whites, who had no negroes of their own to scourge. They exulted in such a chance to exercise a little brief authority, and show their subservience to the slaveholders; not reflecting that the power which trampled on the colored people also kept themselves in poverty, ignorance, and moral degradation. (12.4)

Here's an example of voting against your interests: poor whites were totally oppressed but still taught that they were superior to black people. In reality, poor slaves and poor whites had a great deal in common, since wealthy white landowners stomped on them both.

Quote #5

No two people that had the slightest tinge of color in their faces dared to be seen talking together. (12.4)

Thanks, Nat Turner. After the bloody Nat Turner rebellion, merely talking to another slave could get you into huge trouble.

Quote #6

“O, no. […] They don’t allow colored people to go in the first-class cars.” (31.11)

So, the North isn't a promised land after all. Here, Linda blasts its legal manifestations of racism. Not as bad as slavery, sure, but not exactly awesome.

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