Over the past decade, I''ve had the pleasure and responsibility of engaging youth deemed marginalized and “at risk” — because of their attendance at low-performing schools, economic background or their neighborhood statistics that spoke to high pregnancy, dropout, crime and HIV/AIDS rates — in alternative educational environments. It has always been my goal to leave them with the tools that would allow them to critically navigate; to question; inspect and reflect on the world around them. In order for there to be a more complete view of the lives of African Americans, as well as the larger society, historians and others looking to illustrate nineteenth century America need to examine a wide array of sources and posit the notion that domestic literature and slave narratives written by black women of this time period can be used as historical texts. This book is an investigation of how that literature can be utilized as an exploration for issues pertinent to contemporary youth, such as agency and identity, and as a method to introduce students to the era. This work also provides a sound pedagogical theory and a modifiable curriculum in order to begin this process.