Q. Write an interview of Harriet Jacob’s of her time in hiding in the crawl space at her grandmother’s house with a local newspaper journalist. You should include: 1. What was her hiding place like? 2. How she spent her days and nights; 3. How did Dr Flint and his family try to find her whereabouts? 4. Her freedom By Zahra Kazmi


Good evening ladies and gentlemen! I am your very own and friendly journalist, Zarah Kazmi representing the most updated newspaper of North Carolina, The Express Tribune, and today we are here with a special guest. She is an epitome of valor, patience, and tolerance. Serving good 27 years of her life in slavery, she is a true inspiration for everyone. She is none other than Harriet Brent Jacobs. Thank you Harriet for being here and serving me this honor of interviewing you.

Harriet: the pleasure is all mine. Today I feel like I am ready to let go and tell the whole world about the chapters of my sad life. It has been ages since I have harbored this pain and burden in my heart. I think time has come that I let go off this burden. Thank you for providing me with the opportunity to do so.

Interviewer: you are a true inspiration Harriet. We shall proceed on with the purpose of this interview that is to inform everyone about your life. So, would you like to tell us something about the hiding place that you chose to live in?

Harriet: (coarse voiced) it all started when my first mistress, the nice old lady, passed away. I never yearned for freedom, trust me, until I have handed over Dr James Norcom whose family and he, himself treated me a little better than an animal. To be honest, I think animals are treated with more respect and dignity. These circumstances led to my escape to my freed grandmother’s house where I was forced to hide in a crawl place where even breathing seemed near impossible… (Sobs) it was a small shed… (Sobs more).

Interviewer: Harriet dear, it is okay. You can let it all out. So, what was that shed like?

Harriet: a small shed in my grandfather’s house that was added few years ago. The roof reminded of a small garret inhibited by rats and mice. Some boards were placed on the top and a shingles covered pent roof was located there. When I say crawl place, I am not even exaggerating. The highest part was 3 feet high which sloped down instantly making it nearly impossible to change sides while sleeping.

Interviewer: (shocked) that surely sounds tough. I don’t have words to explain my emotions right now. Alright, so what was the atmosphere of the shed like?

Harriet: like I said before, no air circulation was present which made breathing really hard sometimes and to top it off, the piazza was totally covered in darkness. Darkness which reminded me of my past

and ultimate future. Everything seemed in shortage in that shed except my tears which were present in abundance. Heat was intense which became more stifling because of the lack of air and light.

Interviewer: truly heart wretching! In such situation how did you manage to spend your days and nights?

Harriet: days and nights were same for me. My food was provided to me through trapdoor my uncle had created. My family always seeked opportunities to have a little conversation with me during night time. Fortunately I discovered a gimlet which helped me see my children. I succeeded in making some more holes which led the provision of air in my small den.

Interviewer: (eyes widened) wow! Did you have any activities besides sighting your children?

Harriet: surprisingly I did! From a young age I had a knack for reading, sewing and working and that is exactly what I did. It was a great relief to the monotony of my life. The sad part was that in my den the summers were intensely hot and winters were extremely cold which led to me getting frostbites now and then. My grandmother was a kind lady but she could not do anything to control the changing weather.

Interviewer: I could never imagine living such a life and I strongly believe that everyone should praise you for your courage. So, during this time did Dr Flint try to find you in anyway?

Harriet: they made every effort to search for my whereabouts but were unsuccessful in the end. My aunt used to tell me that he wrote a letter to a lady in New York about me and offered her reward if she could find out anything about me.

Interviewer: New York?! Why did he suspect New York to be your escape place?

Harriet: when you compare my little shed to those Free states, your first guess would always be those southern cities where slavery was abolished. He even went to New York himself and returned empty hand. I would see him passing by through my little hole coaxing people. He even tried to coax and convince my children by providing them favors and some silver but he didn’t realize that they were my children! (Proud).

Interviewer: (smiling) sure they are Harriet… your children seem smart and brave just like you! Your story truly restores my faith in humanity and makes me elated when I think that there are still people out there fighting for their right and equality. So after all these years, how did you attain your freedom?

Harriet: my children were fortunately freed while I was in hiding and after some years a kind gentleman in New York City, where I successfully eloped, bought me out of slavery. This event took place in 1852 and in 1865 legalized slavery came to an ultimate end in Untied States.

Interviewer: applause for you Harriet! Your life story is one of its kind and we hope that there are more women out there who are standing up for their rights and making every effort to abolish gender discrimination and racism in all kinds. Thank you for being here and providing us with the opportunity to

talk to you and open the chapters of your life. Thank you very much. We look forward to seeing you in the future.

About froebelianwriters

I am an English Language teacher teaching O'Levels Edexcel and CIE A Levels at Froebel's International School, Islamabad. I am also working as a Subject Specialist Literacy consultant for the same school. Writing and reading has always been a passion and I try my utmost to instill these habits and hobbies in my students as well. I can be reached/contacted at fabbas227@hotmail.com or 03365287335 Happy reading!

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