Essay on Is Celia A Slave?

Essay on Is Celia A Slave?

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In times when slavery was abundant, female slaves faced oppression in many ways unthinkable. Collectively, the multitude of injustices changed the way American society functioned. Celia, A Slave tells the truly tragic story of Celia, a young slave girl, and her attempt to resist oppression. Celia was sexually abused and repeatedly taken advantage of by her slave master, Robert Newsom. Eventually, Celia retaliated and murdered Newsom. Though her fight of self-defense was supported by many, Celia was hung as punishment for the crime she had committed.
All slaves faced struggle in their lives. In particular, female slaves were targeted as objects of abuse and the source for the sexual needs of their masters. Female slaves were seen as employees to any need of their masters. Author, Melton A. Mclaurin displays this when he writes, “A healthy sixty years of age, Newsom needed more than a hostess and manager of house hold affairs; he required a sexual partner” (Mclaurin 21). Anyone who is purchased is pre-purposed for hard labor or personal needs of the purchaser. Mclaurin exemplifies the way that slave masters viewed female slaves at the point of their possession. Though female slaves were acquired to be a mother figure of the household, there were reasons beyond the obvious. It was not out of the ordinary to hear of an abusive relationship between slave women and their masters. This is further demonstrated by the statement, “On the other hand, the daughters may have seen their father as the victim, Celia’s unwitting conquest, since many southerners viewed black women as naturally sensual and promiscuous” (Mclaurin 26). Not only were female slaves the victim of sexual abuse, they were also seen as the abusers. This type of profiling...


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...st, and as if to emphasize his right to sex with her, informed Celia that he was ‘coming to her cabin that night’” (Mcalurin 32). Slave masters assumed it to be their right to have their way with female slaves. They had purchased them, and no one was going to tell them what to do with their “property”. In this type of relationship, the only right possessed by the slaves was the right to obey their master. The rights of both slave holders and slaves were poorly stated and greatly abused.
The story of Celia and how she faced her oppression is one that continues to alter the subject of slavery and its extremities. Through the struggle of her position in society, she resisted oppression and her argument of self-defense was still not seen as justifiable. This iconic truth stands as a perfect example to the oppression in which slave women faced during times of slavery.

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