Sample History Essays on Harriet Jacob

Sexual Harassment

Jacob’s master sexually harassed Jacob because he viewed her as his property. Jacob was a young woman and from the reading beautiful and her innocence made it easy for her master to fill her mind with vile images. Jacobs’s family had been held as slaves in the Norcom home for many years and many women in the family had endured sexual harassment from other members of the family. Norcom was particularly interested in Jacob because he wanted to keep her as his concubine despite the jealous tantrums thrown by his wife. Norcom would use his position as the master to intimidate Jacob and force her to comply with his tendencies. Norcom believed that since he had bought Jacob’s family as slaves he was entitled to everything that they had including their bodies. Jacob’s was therefore an object of pleasure for Norcom whenever he felt that he needed to be with her. Moreover, Jacob’s had no alternative than to put up with the harassment since her entire family lived in the residence. Norcom did not stop harassing Jacobs even after finding out that she was pregnant for Sawyer because he believed he was the only one who should be engaging in the sexual acts with her. He was angry that Jacobs was pregnant for another man yet he owned her. Norcom, therefore, believed that it was okay for him to sexually harass Jacobs because he owned her.

A question for Harriet

Using the historical thinking skill of comparison, I would like to ask: During the slavery period, were there other black women who spoke out about being sexually harassed and if yes what measures did these women implement to protect their young daughters and sisters against sexual harassment?