The book Celia, a slave, was written by Melton McLaurin to show the horrors of slavery in America during the slavery periods and thus, provide insight into the dark times of the slavery encouraging America of the time. In the book McLaurin expertly explores the topic of sexual exploitation of slaves by narrating the case of Celia, a slave that was convicted of the murder of her owner. Celia was only fourteen years old when she was bought as a slave for her owner who at the time had five other slaves. At the time owning of slaves was the apex of wealth, and her owner who happened to be rich by the standards of the time could afford to have five slaves.
In 1850, Robert Newsom, a prosperous and respected farmer in Missouri, acquired Celia, a fourteen-year-old black girl. The state of Missouri allowed acquisition and ownership of property and slaves to their settlers since it was a slave state. Celia became the property of Newsom and, for the next five years, she was repeatedly and cruelly abused by her master. In the course of this abuse, which included sexual abuse, she bore him two children against her will. In 1855, her endurance was driven to the limit and she decided to fight back (McLaurin, 1991). She thus took a club and hit her master on the head. However, the damage to his head got out of control, and her master
One of the most difficult situations to face in life is a moral dilemma. This is exactly what was encountered by slaveholders and plain folk alike concerning the trial of Celia, a slave during the 1850s. The moral ambiguity of slavery is addressed in Celia, A Slave, especially as the sexual aspect of Celia’s case called people to contemplate whether it was moral to mistreat slaves. When Celia had been sexually abused and mistreated by her master, she lashed out and killed him. From the perspective of the 1850s, her master, Robert Newsom, had not committed a crime, whereas Celia had perpetrated a crime deserving of the death penalty. If Celia had been deemed innocent, it would have proven a troublesome scenario for the Southern states which
Isabel is a thirteen-year-old African-American slave working under Madam Lockton, a dirty loyalist, in the novel Chains. Throughout Chains, Isabel changes from an intimated and gloomy young girl to a confident and proud young woman. Many events all through the book help shape Isabel’s character, but a few things were very important to Isabel’s development. Those things are reading Common Sense, realizing that Madam cannot chain her soul, and discovering that Ruth had been “sold”.
Purpose: Douglass firmly believed that slavery was not only poisonous and dangerous for slaves, but for slaveholders as well and he used this event to prove his assertion. Quote: “The fatal poison of irresponsible power was already in her hands, and soon commenced its infernal work. That cheerful eye, under the influence of slavery, soon became red with rage; that voice, made all of sweet accord, changed to one of harsh and horrid discord; and that angelic face gave place to that of a demon.” (Douglass, 47-48)
A mammy, as defined by Mirriam-Webster University, is “a black woman serving as a nurse to white children especially formerly in the southern United States.” However, in modern viewpoints, the title of “Mammy” is considered a racial slur.
Angelina Emily and Sarah Moore Grimke were abolitionists and women’s rights activist during the 19th century. Although Angelina and Sarah were thirteen years apart in age, they lived together their whole lives and were not just sisters, but best friends. They started out life as daughters of a slave owner on a South Carolina plantation. Their father was the Judge John Faucheraud Grimke in Charleston that had served in the State Legislature and the state’s highest court. Mary Smith Grimke, their mother, was also from a prominent South Carolina family.
Mencia Barnuevo Race & the Photographic Image 05/10/2016 The start of lynching as a recreational phenomenon has quite a few potential origins, but it appears to be chiefly affiliated to the policies of equity in the late 1800’s up until the mid 1900’s. Despite the “birthplace” of lynching, these vicious procedures undergone by
Bennet Barrow was a white man who owned a large portion of a plantation. He writes his experiences with his slaves down in a diary. A plantation owner named Benjamin J. Harris’s violations of slaves is also documented by a man named William Poe, who was a former slaveholder. Barrow’s diary consists of a large amount of instances of physical abuse towards his slaves on a regular basis. Barrow stated one August day in 1841, “After whipping [Ginney Jerry] yesterday told him if ever he dodged about from me again would certainly shoot him. This morning at breakfast time Charles came & told me that Jerry was about to run off. [I] took my gun [and] shot him in the thigh” (Gutman 23-24). This response of violence was extreme but common to Barrow. One
On the 8th of this month, I attended a lecture in the UA Poetry Center presented by Dr. Jerome Dotson (an instructor in Africana Studies). The speaker, who obtained a MA in African American Studies and a PhD in History, presented information for this particular lecture on the diets of slaves, and specifically within that, the connotation of pork in their meals. Dr. Dotson began the talk with a brief discussion of ‘roots’ and played a video of Kunta Kinte’s visual explanation of the meaning of food in a slave’s life. The video highlighted what slaves ate, which consisted mostly of grits, roughly ground corn, and pork.
In “A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mary Rowlandson” and “Narrative of the life of Fredrick Douglass”, Rowlandson and Douglass tell the story of their captivity and slavery; with their patience, faith and determination they each fought for their freedom. Although the stories take place at least 100 years apart, they both exemplify the harsh reality of being captive. Mary Rowlandson and Fredrick Douglass are two writers who had entirely different experiences but in both of their narratives it becomes clear that they each went through a long journey to obtain freedom. Some of the hardship that they both had to overcome included not only being whipped, restrained and beaten, but also being overworked and undernourished, lacking
Phillis Wheatley and Frederick Douglass were two of the most well-known African American writers that were both for the abolishment movement in America but had two vastly different ideas about the unholy institution of slavery. Through her poem, “On Being Brought from America”, Phillis Wheatley appears thankful for her journey from Africa to America, clinging tightly to her Christian views and faith in God but still reminding the slave owners that people of all races will be welcome in heaven. In Frederick Douglass’ story, “My Bondage and My Freedom”, he displays no joy in the evil institution of slavery and points out the differences between the cruel actions of the southern Christian slaveholders against those of the peaceful doctrine of
Jacobs describes the inhumane treatment of slaves when discussing a neighboring plantation. She shares how this plantation commits many cruel murders of its slaves. For example, she discusses how one slave had a “fire kindled over him, from which was suspended a piece of fat pork. As this cooked, the scalding drops of fat continually fell on bare flesh” (41). By sharing this antidote, Jacobs shows how the plantation owner not only murdered his slaves, but did so in barbaric ways.
In Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Harriet Jacobs tells of her experiences as a slave. She had to endure the hardships that came with both being black and a woman in 1861. As a slave she was supposed to serve and obey her master. As a woman she was supposed to be submissive to men. She describes several situations in her memoir that would make me oppose slavery if I were a Northern white woman in 1861.
“…Though we were all slaves, I was so fondly shielded that I never dreamed that I was a piece of merchandise…” (Jacobs 820). In “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl”, by Harriet Jacobs, Linda Brent describes her first-hand experience in slavery under the name Linda Brent. Through Brent’s life, from childhood until her twenties, Harriet Jacobs wrote about an African-American girl struggling to come to terms with her identity as a slave. In this story, Jacobs focuses on Linda Brent’s mental suffering during slavery rather than her physical abuse. This is slowly shown through the story as Brent’s was stripped of her desires, values, individuality, and future.