Slavery In Celia A Slave

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In Celia, a Slave, written by Melton A. McLaurin, the relationships of race, gender, sexuality, power, law, and slavery in the antebellum South is revealed by Celia’s case. In antebellum South, many things dictated a person’s worth, but the race of a person was the number one factor. If a person was of a race other than Caucasian, such as being Black, then he or she would live in the United States as one of two classifications: slave or freed slave. Of these two classifications, both were thought as being subpar humans when compared to white citizens. Due to these beliefs regarding Blacks, slave and free, Blacks themselves were unable to protect themselves from slave masters and in most legal standings (McLaurin 137). This means that Blacks did not have the same citizenship as white people because a slave was not a citizen in the eyes of the law but the human property of his or her master. Gender is the second idea that dictated a person’s worth and character. Males, white particularly, always held more power and sexual control over the women of the antebellum South. White women, when married, became the legal property of her husband (139). Even if a woman was not married, then she was still considered the property of her father and under his protection until she was given away. For example, Virginia Waynescot and Mary Newsome both lived with their father, Robert Newsome (10-11). By living with their father, the two daughters basically handed over their power because Robert

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