Slavery Injustice Male versus Female

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Slavery Injustice Male versus Female

Harriet Jacobs author of “Incidents of a Slave Girl” depicted the life of a women enslaved to white planation owners between the years 1819-1842. Harriet Jacobs escaped for enslavement and went on to become a pivotal figure for the African American culture with tales of cruelty from her owners and her need for freedom. Jacobs penned her story to persuade white people in the North to fight against the maltreatment of African Americans in the South. Jacobs highlighted for abolitionist and non-abolitionist alike the abuse slaves felt for many years and the obstacles they went through to secure their freedom. Harriet Jacobs asserted, “Slavery is bad for men, but it is far more terrible for women.” In contrast to Jacobs, slavery for women did not exceed or fall below that of men. The circumstances in which the different genders were treated did show some variations, however, the effects of slavery affected both men and women equally. Slave men and women all had one common goal and that was to enjoy the freedoms and rights as human beings amongst the Caucasian counterparts. Erik Foner, author of Give me Liberty! An American History, stated, “Black sought to make white Americans understand slavery as a concrete reality—the denial of all the essential elements of freedom—not merely as a metaphor for the loss of political self-determination.” African American fought collectively with both men and women against oppression from Caucasians.

The practice of slavery for men and women both presented equally sufferings. However, the white planation owners or overseers routinely raped women during this time. Women regularly had their children stripped away from them and sold into slavery. However, ironica...

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...families. Nor could they protect their wives from physical or sexual abuse by owners and overseers (a frequent occurrence on many planation’s) or determine when and under what conditions their children worked.

Men and women alike jointly fought in efforts to progress the United States out of slavery. Many slaves lost their lives running toward the North for freedom or due to harsh conditions imposed by Southern planation owners and overseers. To specify that one gender suffered more than another would be a counterproductive assumption.


Foner, Eric. Give me liberty!: an American history. Seagull 4th ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2014.

Garabedian, Steven. American History, Class Lessons. Marist College, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., April 27-May 2, 2014.

Jacobs, Harriet A.. Incidents in the life of a slave girl. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988
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