Essay On Celia A Slave

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Celia, A Slave was written by a man named Melton A. McLaurin in 1999. Melton has written many books about his lifelong interests of racism. In fact he even received the Lillian Smith award for his book Separate Pasts: Growing Up in the Segregated South and a notable book selection award from the New York Times for Celia, A Slave. Melton says “The case of Celia A slave reminds us that the personal and the political are never totally separate entities” (xiv). Celia, A Slave is about fourteen year old girl who became the property of a man named Robert Newsom. Robert was a Missouri farmer who repeatedly molested Celia. Regardless of her horrible experience with men, Celia still fell in love with a man named George, who was also a slave of…show more content…
“I was in the last generation of segregation” he said. This life and experience is what persuaded Melton to write the book Celia, A Slave.
The theme of Celia, A Slave to me is exploitation and slavery. In the time period that this book had taken place black slave woman were left alone to deal with the sexual abuse from not only their masters and their family members but other male slaves as well. Celia suffered from molestation from her master Robert for years until she had enough and decided to defend herself, which led to the death of Robert. After everyone found out what she had done she was put on trial on October 9th 1855. Because of the Missouri Slave Law, which states slaves cannot testify against their masters, Celia could not testify during her trial. Celia had made the claim that the death of Robert Newsom was self-defense and she never meant to kill him. But being that no one sympathized for her and there was no third party there to witness these claims, it was impossible for her to prove herself. The Missouri Slave Law allows slaves to defend themselves against their masters if their lives are in danger, but the law was silent when it came to slave woman defending themselves from sexual abuse. “While acknowledging that slave woman were used by masters for sexual favors, state studies of slavery, including Missouri’s fail to record charges against whites for rape of a female slave” (114). These laws were spread all
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