[dropcap custom_class=”normal”] B [/dropcap]lack history month is a chance for all to honor the history and culture of the African diaspora in some way, for example, reading a book by a black author or about black history. Though a recently published book is more accessible and, in most cases, relatable, I suggest visiting our store to download one of these slave narratives. Reading these three autobiographies today will remind us of the horrors of the past and warn us not to recreate them in the future.
The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, the African by Olaudah Equiano
We get a first-hand account of the horrible conditions aboard slave ships from Olaudah Equiano. Equiano lived in Eboe (now Nigeria) before he was kidnapped and sold into slavery. He spent much of his time as a slave in service to slave ship captains and was later able to buy his freedom from money he saved from working as a slave to a merchant.
Frederick Douglass was born into slavery. When he was seven, he was sold to a master in Baltimore whose wife took an interest in him and started to teach him to read. She stopped when her husband admonished her for doing so but Douglass, who realized that education was imperative to his freedom, continued to seek ways to teach himself. As he got older, he began seeking his freedom. Despite attempts to break his spirit, Douglass persevered and found a way to free himself.
When Linda Brent, a pseudonym for Harriet Jacobs, is 12, she is sent to a new mistress, a five-year-old girl named Emily Flint, whose father becomes sexually interested in Linda. He leaves inappropriate messages for Linda, which makes her uncomfortable so she devises a plan to sleep with another man in order to dissuade Dr. Flint’s advances. Unfortunately, her plan does not work and Linda must seek other ways to escape Dr. Flint and also to free her children from his clutches.