“Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothin’ to do with Him.”
Born an American slave, Fanny Jackson’s freedom was purchased by her aunt at age 12. Fanny Jackson spent the rest of her youth working as a servant for author George Henry Calvert, studying at every opportunity. In 1860, she enrolled in Oberlin College in Ohio, the first college in the United States to accept both black and female students. She writes in her autobiography:
After being overshadowed by the Civil War, the novel was rediscovered in the late 20th century, when there was new interest in minority and women writers. One scholar researched the novel, identifying Harriet Jacobs as the author and documenting many events and people in her life that corresponded to this fictionalized, autobiographical account. The novel has been the subject of many academic studies, as Jacobs challenged prevailing ideas about slavery and womanhood in her work.
“The Deep South’s paralyzing intergenerational poverty is the devastating sum of problems both historical and emergent — ones that, in the life of a young man, can build in childhood and then erupt in early adulthood,” says Harlan. These young people “deal with traumas at home and dysfunction at school — only to find themselves, as graduates, searching for low-paying jobs in states that have been reluctant to fund programs that help the poor.”