Friday, March 7, 2014
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Linda was born a slave, but didn't realize she was a slave until her mother died, when Linda was 6 years old. She was sold to the daughter of her mistress's sister, and from the age of 12 was sexually harassed and tormented by her master, called Dr. Flint in the book. He never raped her, but his constant harassment, including whispering lewd things in her ear, and writing foul notes, left her in a state of constant fear.
The class found the story easier to read than Equiano's narrative; it was written about 50 years later. After a good discussion about the memoir, the class enacted a trial. We set up the room in a mock trial format
Dr. Flint was on trial for sexual harassment. The defense attorney performed admirably, and the jury concluded that he was innocent (though we all know he was guilty). It occurred to me how realistic the trial was, as many times those who are guilty are found not guilty, and sometimes the innocent are found guilty. All my students were great - from the jury, to the judge, to the attorneys, to the witnesses, defendant and plaintiff.
Every week we learn from the writers and their texts, from each other, and we learn a bit about ourselves.
Stay tuned for next week's class . . .
To learn more about Linda Brent's story, view this PBS clip - in class we watched from 1:52 - 2:13 (time in video). Enjoy!