Celia, A Slave book Melton A. Mclaurin (Author) - Essay Example

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However, when it becomes an entity built on mistrust and discontentment it never lasts. Celia life is a dazzling story with both curiosity and sympathy as one learn what she…
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Celia, A Slave book Melton A. Mclaurin (Author)
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Celia, a Slave Introduction Family is repeatedly said to be the moral fabric that holds a family and at large a country together. However, when it becomes an entity built on mistrust and discontentment it never lasts. Celia life is a dazzling story with both curiosity and sympathy as one learn what she encountered as a black slave. Her role as a slave was extended and forcibly made to serve as wife at the same time. The governing authority at Missouri County seems to have condoned slave ownership and its ugly inhuman treatment of fellow human. This is well detailed by Robert Newsom lifestyle as he had purchased a number of slaves in his farm and Celia being of them was serving as a cook (Mclaurin 9). The purchase of Celia was less of a cook than it was a sexual object. However, was it right to convict Celia of murder while defending herself from her rapist master? In my opinion, it was unfair to put Celia to death while she was severing her relations with her master who had raped her for five years. The judicial process at the time shows that it was against the rights of slaves and did not care what they went through. Mr. Newsom characters also depict him as a pervert who had no respect for women.
Newsom character seems to have changed for the worse when his wife died. He was lonely yes, like any other man but he could have maintained his family values and principles as he had his children around to console him. After purchasing Celia as black slave who was mandated to cook, Newsom started treating her like his wife. He forced Celia to have sex with him and eventually raped her (Mclaurin 15). Celia even though angered by the inhumane act perpetrated against her by her master could not find a place to air her grievances for the slaves had no legal redress to self defense in Missouri County. Newsom unacceptable behavior may have been persuaded by the fact that he knew that there were nowhere slaves would find justice. Furthermore, it is clear that he had no respect for women as he never cared about his two daughters who were in the same compound. Newsom prolonged his illicit behavior and bore two children with Celia while he knew very well that there existed no acquaintance between him and Celia (Mclaurin 23).
Another sign that portrays Newsom as a pervert is the unclear circumstances his older daughter Virginia got a son named Billy while still in his father’s compound. Even though Virginia was married to Waynescot, one year after her mother’s demise she returned to stay with her father (Mclaurin 9). Her husband might have died thus culminating her going back to her father’s house although it is not clearly known why she opted for that decision instead of staying in her matrimonial home. She went a step further and assumed the role of mistress after her mother died. Virginia sired her last born while still without a husband hence creating a puzzle who could be the father of her child. However, with her father’s callous character of raping Celia regularly, it could not be very far from the truth to speculate that Newsom was the father of Billy. Newsom behavior depicts someone who was heartless and an abomination to societal values.
Convicting Celia for murder for killing a rapist as well as defending her true love was a sure sign of impartial judgment perpetrated against slaves. The courts in those days were serving their masters thus denying justice for the innocent and poor. Celia like any other person, white or black had a right to her fair share of right to self defense. But due to racial discrimination, Celia was put to death even after being put to forced labor while still a minor and rape victim for five consecutive years (Mclaurin 37). In this case, the judges represented the interest of the whites thus they cared less about the plight of the black slaves. In my opinion the judge further prolonged suffering to Celia’s true lover who was also a slave and the children who were left behind.
In conclusion, it was very disappointing to convict Celia and let Newsom even though dead to go unpunished. Celia like other black slaves had suffered a lot as they were molested daily while being sexually abused. This case shows how slaves’ rights were obstructed as they we never given a chance to defend themselves in a court of law. Newsom however, can be said to be somebody who had a psychological problem because not only did he mistreat his slaves but also his daughter. He fathered two children with Celia in present of his children as they were staying in the same house. To treat a fellow human is not a duty but self respect and dignity toward humanity, a trait that Newsom lacked thus even though prosperous died a poor man.
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Mclaurin, Melton, A. Celia, A Slave. New York: Avon, 1999. Read More
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