Why is Harriet Jacobs hesitant to write her book, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl?

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Harriet Jacobs was an escaped slave who eventually became an abolitionist and wrote her autobiography, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. As your question suggests, Jacobs has some hesitations about the book; however, her primary hesitation was whether to publish it, not whether to write it. Her fears about publishing this work are valid. 

First of all, she risked being seen as a liar because most slaves could not read or write. Jacobs learned to read and write when she was young ( a fact for which she is grateful since she was able to read the Bible in many of her most difficult times), but many people would not have believed that she could write, and certainly not well enough to write a book of this quality. In fact she used a pseudonym for herself, and for many years the book was not ascribed to her, though Jacobs is now recognized as the author.

Second, in telling her own story she necessarily revealed other people's stories. Though she used pseudonyms to disguise specific people,...

(The entire section contains 541 words.)

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