Celia, a Slave Book Review

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Book Review #2
How History Exposes the System

By: Nicholas McGee (w1073395)
History 320 Fall 2012

How History Exposes the System

A significant portion of African-American history in the western new age democracy of the Americas over the past four hundred years is a reminiscence of stories from the years when African-Americans were used as slaves on the plantations or farms of affluent, white farmers. One intriguing story of slavery and the struggles with it was written by a guy named Melton A. McLaurin. Released in 1993, Celia, A Slave was written as a true story of a young slaved girl who broke some of the most unbreakable of the rules that applied to slaves which took more abuse than most of her peers. The work as a whole provides an accurate historical perspective of the time leading up to the civil war and some of the attitudes being held by the characters paint a picture that was eerily very similar to the portrait that reflects pre-war history in the Deep South. Celia was the name of a young female slave, who came to work for a prominent Missouri family called the Newsoms. We only know her as Celia, whereas she had no other known name. Robert Newsom, a plantation owner in Callaway, Missouri, purchased her at age 14. Newsom was recently widowed and it seems he purchased Celia, looking for sex. He started raping her after being brought back to the farm. From then on, Newsom "visited" Celia often in a cabin he provided for her which was very close to the main household. Over the years, Celia had two children with Newsom, which he also considered "his property". The interesting thing about Celia’s story is that it recounts a tale of social strife and clearly indicates the fact that slaves were playing with a heavily stacked deck in relation to their Caucasian opposites. Within weeks after being bought by Newsom, head of the household, Celia was exposed to some terrible treatment. In an effort to establish a precedent for later actions and to mark his...
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