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This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

Raping the Jezebel Hypocrisy, Stereotyping, and Sexual Identity in Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Aisha Matthews

Master’s Candidate

Department of English

Southern New Hampshire University

&

Prof. Amber Reagan-Kendrick

Abstract

The following paper examines the origins of African-American female sexual scripts, particularly the image of the Jezebel, and their consequences as represented in Harriet Jacobs’s autobiography, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Through an analysis of Jacobs’s work, this paper explores the relationships between female slaves and their masters (and mistresses) in the Antebellum American South, locates the historical and cultural sources of negative sexual stereotypes about black women, and ultimately, concludes that these scripts and stereotypes, originating in American slavery, still play a large role in media representation and the formation of a positive sexual identity for African-American women in the United States. Jacobs’s narrative, a monumental self-written memoir, sought to appeal to the white women in the American North whose participation in the abolitionist movement held the power to ameliorate circumstances for female slaves in the South. Her tale of sexually aggressive masters, harried choices, and the sacrifices of a loving mother illuminate the moral and spiritual degradation caused by the “peculiar institution of slavery.” This paper places such considerations in both racial and sociopolitical contexts to examine the psychology of fear, abuse, and miscegenation suffered by American female slaves and perpetrated by southern plantation owners.

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Raping the Jezebel Hypocrisy, Stereotyping, and Sexual Identity in Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

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2017-04-04T09:08:06+00:00
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