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Our Nig (Paperback)

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Our Nig, Or, Sketches From the Life of a Free Black, in a Two-Story White House is a classic African American history text by Harriet E. Wilson that deals the history of slavery in America. IN offering to the public the following slave story, the writer confesses her inability to minister to the refined and culti- vated, the pleasure supplied by abler pens. It is not for such these crude narrations appear. Deserted by kindred, disabled by failing health, I am forced to some experiment which shall aid me in maintaining myself and child with- out extinguishing this feeble life. I would not from these motives even palliate slavery at the South, by disclosures of its appurtenances North. My mistress was wholly imbued with SOUTHERN principles. I do not pretend to divulge every transaction in my own life, which the unprejudiced would declare unfavorable in comparison with treatment of legal bondmen; I have purposely omitted what would most provoke shame in our good anti-slavery friends at home. Our Nig opens with the story of Mag Smith. She has been seduced and left with a child born out-of-wedlock. After the child dies, Mag moves away to a place where no one knows her. In this new town, she meets a black man named Jim who falls in love with her. She resists him at first, but soon realizes that her efforts are futile. Jim and Mag marry and they have two children, a daughter Frado and a son. Jim becomes sick and dies leaving Mag to provide for their children. She marries Seth, one of Jim's business partners, and he takes the family under his wing. Eventually, Mag and Seth realize that they cannot care for both of the children. He suggests they send her daughter Frado to live with the Bellmonts who?]. Mag refuses at first but eventually, reluctantly agrees. Frado is dropped off at the house under the pretense that Mag will be back to pick her up later in the day. After a few days the Bellmonts, and Frado, realize Mag never intended to return. Mr. Bellmont is portrayed as kind and humane but Mrs. Bellmont is the complete opposite. The Bellmonts have four children, two boys and two girls. The family debates whether or not to keep Frado, and if they do, where she will sleep. Frado is sent to live in a separate part of the house that she will soon outgrow. The following day, Mrs. Bellmont calls for Frado early in the morning and puts her to work in the kitchen, washing dishes, preparing food, etc. Mr. Bellmont is humble towards Frado. Jack accepts Frado since her skin is not very dark. His sister Mary resents Frado being there and wants her to go to the County Home instead. Mrs. Bellmont is not happy with Frado living with them but puts her to work doing household chores. Frado now lives in a new room, an unfinished chamber over the kitchen. As a year passes, Frado accepts that she is part of the Bellmont family. Jack buys Frado a dog named Fido, who becomes her friend and eases her loneliness. Frado is allowed to attend school with Mary. One afternoon on their way home, Mary tries to force Frado into a stream but falls in instead. Mary runs home to tell her mother that Frado pushed her into the water. Frado receives a whipping from Mrs. Bellmont while Jack tries to defend the girl. Frado runs away; Mr. Bellmont, Jack and James search for her. After she is found she tells James that if God made him, Aunt Abby and Mrs. Bellmont white, then she dislikes God for making her black. James has moved away. On the first day of spring a letter arrives from him about his declining health. He returns to visit the family. Mrs. Bellmont beats Frado senseless and says if she tells James, Mrs. Bellmont will "cut her tongue out". 4] By November, James' health starts to deteriorate further. Mary leaves home to nurse her brother Jake. James requests that Frado stay by his bed side until further notice. Mrs. Bellmont discovers Frado reading the Bible and speaks to her husband about Frado going to the evening meetings.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781511986939
ISBN-10: 151198693X
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication Date: May 1st, 2015
Pages: 74
Language: English

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