Thursday, October 24, 2013

Day 297: Harriet Jacobs

We read a lot of authors in my Survey of American Literature course, and I'm sure you'll hear more about others as the remainder of the semester goes on, but today in class we were talking about one author in particular: Harriet Jacobs.

Now, for those of you that aren't really into history and don't know who Harriet Jacobs is, here's a quick background. Jacobs was a young slave girl with two children some years before the Civil War. She lived as a slave for the first years of her life, and after having two children, she hid in a small room of her grandmother's home for 7 years, never leaving and only seeing her children through a small hole in the wall, although she could not have any sort of contact with them. After she eventually gained her freedom, she wrote a book narrating her experience as a slave girl, titled Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.

When I found that we were reading her my mind instantly went to Disney, or at least I was pretty sure it did. At first I wasn't totally positive, but once I got around to looking at the video on my laptop, I found I was correct.

In the American Adventure Pavilion of Epcot, they recently changed the exhibit in the downstairs area. It used to have pieces of history from various subjects, but was recently changed to a narration of Black History.

The new exhibit is wonderful. I'll say that flat out. I loved it. The way they incorporated technology with the exhibit is great and the entire thing was just super interesting. Honestly I wish I had more time to go through it, and I really hope that I'll have a couple minutes to go through it on this next trip.

Back to Harriet Jacobs. As much as I love learning about the Civil War, I had never really heard the spectacular story of this young woman before. I guess I had heard her name, but never gave it much thought. In fact that I didn't give it a ton of thought back in July either when I heard her name for the first time at Disney, but I did pay attention to the exhibit, and here's yet another example of how you can learn things from Disney!

If you go through the exhibit you'll find one of the lanterns explains the story of Harriet Jacobs and talks about how she took action even though she was afraid, and then I believe there's a copy of her book there in one of the cases (although I'm not totally positive on that one). Either way, when I did figure out we were reading her for class, my mind went right back to The American Adventure, and I made those connections with what I was reading for class.

So in other words, because of that little bit of information I got at Disney, I knew a little bit about Harriet Jacobs before I read her narrative, and it really made me enjoy the book even more.

Here's today's Disney History: 1982: EPCOT Center (Disney's third theme park) is officially dedicated by Disney Chairman E. Cardon Walker 23 days after the park's opening day.

Have a magical day!