Celia, a Slave Book Review Essay

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Pages: 5

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
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Celia is a woman, so this law should have applied to her as well. After all, she was only defending herself from this man. This discussion was a huge turning point during the trial. The jury and judge had to decide whether or not Celia had this right. It was such a big issue because it would totally change the law around. If she was a woman, she would have this right and it would make slave women more equal with white women. This would, in turn, strip some of the power of the slave holder. If she did not have this right, things would remain the same and Celia would still be hung.
The story and plight of Celia is one that was more common among the slaves of that time. She experienced both good and not so good treatments from her master, and needed to react to the stigma that was associated with rape. Newsom family members resented her because of the fathers actions with her, and she was put into a no win situation by an overzealous master who was content on committing the same crime over and over.
The fact that he did not incur any sort of penalty prior to his death is a testament to the loopholes in the legal system of the day. The themes presented in this book were seen throughout all areas where slavery was common. They represent events where the lawful system never truly works, and are evidence to African-American struggle at the time.
This is a great book to read if you are interested in what