‘Rise Up, Ye Women’

Harriet Jacobs & the Bible

Authors

  • Emerson B. Powery Messiah College

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/post.v5i2.171

Keywords:

abolition, Bible, gender, literacy, race, sexuality, slavery

Abstract

Harriet Jacobs was the first female to write and publish a narrative about her earlier life in slavery. It is a story unlike any written by her male counterparts, especially as she details the psychological impact of the harrowing sexual exploitation of nineteenth-century antebellum enslavement. Her Incidents is full of citations of and allusions to the Bible, which she learned to read as a very young girl. She developed a strategy for interpreting the pages of the Bible to challenge commonly held southern interpretations that supported the slaveholding aristocracy surrounding her. Her appropriation of the Bible allowed her to defend her humanity and maintain her dignity.

Author Biography

Emerson B. Powery, Messiah College

Professor of Biblical Studies Dept of Biblical & Religious Studies

References

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Published

2011-11-14

How to Cite

Powery, E. B. (2011). ‘Rise Up, Ye Women’: Harriet Jacobs & the Bible. Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts, Cultural Histories, and Contemporary Contexts, 5(2), 171–184. https://doi.org/10.1558/post.v5i2.171

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