104 pages 3 hours read

Harriet Jacobs

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Nonfiction | Autobiography / Memoir | Adult | Published in 1861

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Reading Questions & Paired Texts

Reading Check and Short Answer questions on key plot points are designed for guided reading assignments, in-class review, formative assessment, quizzes, and more.

Chapters 1-5

Reading Check

1. What does Harriet’s grandmother sell?

2. Who purchased William?

3. When is hiring day in the antebellum South?

Short Answer

Answer each question in at least 1 complete sentence. Incorporate details from the text to support your response.

1. How are the enslaved people treated in Dr. Flint’s household?

2. How is Martha able to gain her freedom?

3. Why does Harriet describe the age of 15 as “a sad epoch in the life of a slave girl?”

Paired Resource

‘A Chosen Exile’: Black People Passing In White America

  • This article chronicles the experience of families who participated in racial passing in America.
  • Why do some feel the need to pass as white? Why is life difficult for those who made the decision to pass in American society? What are some of the experiences of those who were racially passing? How is this article related to the book’s themes of Slavery and Maternity?

Chapters 6-10

Reading Check

1. Who proposes to Harriet while she is in Dr. Flint’s care?

2. Where does Harriet’s lover go after she refused to marry him?

3. What does Mr. Litch’s brother train to find enslaved people?