by Harriet Ann Jacobs
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
Fugitive Slave Act of 1793
- The United States Congress
The Fugitive Slave Act was enacted by the United States Congress in 1793, and then later renewed in 1850. This act guaranteed slave owners the right to recover run-away slaves. When the Thirteenth Amendment was passed, abolishing slavery, the Fugitive Slave Act lost its power.Pair “What Slaves are Taught to Think of the North” with the “Fugitive Slave Act of 1793” and ask students to discuss the measures many Americans and American government took to prevent slaves from gaining freedom. How did slaveholders and other supporters of slavery justify these restrictions? How did prejudice produce these behaviors?
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: Excerpts from Chapters 1 & 7
- Frederick Douglass
In this excerpt, national African-American hero and champion for the Freedmen of America tells audiences how he learned to read.Pair "What Slaves are Taught to Think of the North" with "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: Excerpts from Chapters 1 and 7" to expose students to the different ways that slaves were manipulated in order to maintain their oppression.
- Saul McLeod
In this article, McLeod discusses classical conditioning, a way of changing a person’s behavior by exposing them to different experiences, and experiments carried out using this method. One 1920 experiment showed that classical conditioning can be used to create a phobia, not only in animals but potentially in humans as well.Pair “Classical Conditioning” with “What Slaves are Taught to Think of the North” to show students a real-life example of fear-based conditioning.
The Daisy Girl Ad
- CommonLit Staff
In the 1964 Presidential campaign, incumbent LBJ ran a controversial advertisement that used fear as a persuasive tool.Pair "What Slaves are Taught to Think of the North" with "The Daisy Girl Ad" and ask students to consider how fear mongering is used in these two different situations. Why is fear such a powerful manipulator? What can we learn from these cases?
Learning to Read
- Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
Francis Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911) was the child of free African American parents. In her adult life, Harper helped slaves escape through the Underground Railroad and wrote for abolitionist newspapers. In this poem, Harper describes what it was like to have been discouraged from learning how to read.This excerpt in Jacobs’ memoir shows how learning of what really happens in northern free states affects her intelligence and optimism for a more just and free life. Use this text with Harper’s poem to show how intelligence, literacy and a powerful imagination are all interwoven.
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: Excerpt from Chapter 11
- Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass (1818 –1895) was born a slave but became a social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman. In chapter 11 of his memoir, Douglass describes his escape from slavery and the challenges he faced upon becoming a free man.Pair "What Slaves Are Taught to Think of the North" from Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl with the excerpt from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and compare how the themes of education, freedom, and fear develop in each text. Compare and contrast the experiences of both male and female slaves.