Celia, a Slave...

Topics: United States, Black people, American Civil War Pages: 4 (1498 words) Published: March 24, 2007
A critical overview

Celia, a Slave was a factual interpretation of one isolated incident that depicted common slave fear during the antebellum period of the United States. Melton A. McLaurin, the author, used this account of a young slave woman's struggle through the undeserved hardships of rape and injustice to explain to today's naive society a better depiction of what slavery could have been like. The story of Celia illustrates the root of racial problems Americans still face in their society. Although not nearly as extreme, they continue to live in a white-male dominated culture that looks down upon African-Americans, especially females. McLaurin looks at the views of the time, and speculates the probabilities of this pre - Civil War era, the values of which still pierce daily life in the United States.

"The American constitution recognized slavery as a local constitution within the legal rights of the individual states. But in the North slavery was not adaptable to the local economy, and to many, it contradicted the vision of the founding fathers for a nation in which all men are to be free. The South considered slavery as a necessary institution for the plantation economy. It was linked to the local culture and society. As the United states expanded, the North worried that the South would introduce slavery into the new territories. Slavery had become both a moral issue and a question of political power." (Kral p61)

This account of enduring adversity begins with a man by the name of Robert Newsom. After his wife passed away he apparently craved the need for sexual fulfillment. He came to the conclusion that the best possible way to nourish his craving was by purchasing a young, healthy slave to keep as his personal "mistress". So at the age of 14, Celia became a white-man's sexual object. Over time Celia accepted her role in the Newsom household and bore two of Newsom's children. Towards the end...
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