Harriet E. Wilson: Our Nig: or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black

(1263 words)

Our Nig is easily summarized: Frado, also known as “Our Nig”, is deserted by her white mother, Mag Smith, when still a young child, following the death of her African American father. She is left in the home of the Bellmonts, where she becomes an indentured servant and is treated cruelly both by her white mistress, Mrs. Bellmont (Mrs. B.) and her daughter, Mary. Mr. Bellmont and his sons, aided by a kindly maiden aunt, Abby, ineffectually try to protect Frado, but she finally learns to stand up for herself – at least to some extent – in a climactic confrontation with Mrs. B. by the farm's woodpile. Mrs. B.'s abuse continues, however, so when she comes of age at eighteen she takes the opportunity to leave, only to discover …

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Ellis, R. J.. "Our Nig: or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 January 2003
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=9478, accessed 26 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. African American Fiction