Slave narratives such as The Narrative life of Frederick Douglass and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl help readers try to experience and understand what life was like as a slave. These writings really get into specifics regarding the treatment of African-Americans in terms of gender and color during this time period. Before the Civil War, slave narratives such as these were the first to use such dramatic personal experiences of African- Americans in a text. These narratives, as well as others helped create terms such as â€œpersonal as politicalâ€ and â€œconsciousness raisingâ€, which were coined during the 1960â€™s Womenâ€™s Movement. These phrases have their philosophical foundation in the Abolition Movement of the early nineteenth â€“ century America.
Being a woman of color becomes a competing site for the intersection of race and gender, with all the prejudices, obstacles and strengths this implies. For the slave woman, race and gender meant a double oppression. Not only did another own the produce of her labor, but her body and her reproductive power as well. Harriet Jacobsâ€™ Incidents in the Life of a Slave