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This paper reviews and analyzes Melton A. McLaurin's book "Celia: A Slave," following Celia's life until she was executed for murdering her master. First, the paper describes the circumstances under which Celia lived with the Newsom family, and how she was repeatedly raped by Robert Newsom, her master. Then, the paper describes her murder trail and her attorney's defense, which ultimately failed. Finally, the paper explores Celia's trial as a direct result of American policy of the time, which allowed blacks to be owned as slaves. It also addresses how Blacks were dehumanized by whites, which led to Celia's guilty verdict and execution. The paper concludes by stating that the review presents Celia's story as more than just a sad tale of sexual perversion and death, but also a treatise about the American justice system and society at the time.
From the Paper:"The trial also illustrates Celia's humanity, in that her attorney's presented her as a wronged woman, who had the right to save herself, in effect, comparing her with any white woman in the same circumstances. Unfortunately, the court and jury did not see it that way. The humane (and correct) thing to do would be to have acquitted her in the name of self-defense. She had endured Newsom and his advances since she was a child, and it was morally wrong. However, there was no humanity in the treatment of slaves, and this trial only illustrates that all too well. Justice was not done in that courtroom, and that says something about justice for blacks during the time of slavery. The American justice system treated blacks differently than whites, and it took almost an eon for that to really change."
Sample of Sources Used:
- McLauren, M. A. Celia, a Slave: A True Story of Violence and Retribution in Antebellum Missouri. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press, 1991.
Cite this Book Review:
Worst Issues in American History in "Celia: A Slave" (2010, December 25) Retrieved July 11, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/worst-issues-in-american-history-in-celia-a-slave-146316/
"Worst Issues in American History in "Celia: A Slave"" 25 December 2010. Web. 11 July. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/worst-issues-in-american-history-in-celia-a-slave-146316/>