The Life and Saga of Harriet Jacobs
with Desiree Taylor
Harriet Jacobs lived in the United States at a time fraught with political unrest. She was born into slavery in 1813 and spent her life striving to make a fulfilling life for herself and her family in a country that defined her as less than. To history she left a scandalous autobiography chronicling her life as a fugitive slave, and through it exposed the ugly reality of life for female slaves. However, in the twentieth century, scholars considered Jacobs’s story to be a work of fiction written by a white female abolitionist in the service of the abolitionist cause. At the end of the twentieth century a feminist scholar laid to rest any doubt that Jacobs existed and was in fact the author of her autobiography. Join researcher and storyteller Desiree Taylor for a presentation of the life and the saga of Harriet Jacobs.
Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Desiree Taylor is an entrepreneur, researcher, and storyteller. As a guest speaker she delivers history programs that get people talking together about issues like justice, survival, hope, and what it means to thrive. She has worked with diverse audiences from school children to retired populations to create spaces to dialogue and be in community about issues past and present. Desiree received her degree in education (M. Ed.) and in American studies (MA.) both from the University of Massachusetts Boston.