Essay on Slavery Institution in Celia, A Slave by McLaurin

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  867 Words
Date:  2021-06-28

How does this book challenge your understanding of slavery as an institution? How does the book, help you understand how divided the republic was before the Civil War?

The slavery institution exhibited various cultures and tradition given the case that it was viewed from different perspectives. The ground to support such ideology is that I had a difference of opinion about the slavery institution. To my mind, I believed that many of the slave owners in historical times were both Blacks and Whites. In my opinion, the wealthy in those times would acquire slaves at their will (McLaurin, 2011). As a result, I believed that the fight against the slavery institution was orchestrated by the black men serving in the army. Subsequently, I thought that the black soldiers serving in the Confederate State Army helped to end slavery. From my viewpoint, they were the force of change that would restore order and dignify the black community.

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My other significant take on the slavery institution was that slaves only served as domestic servants. Importantly, I felt that the slavery system was very considerate about women who worked in the homes and their duties were defined. As such, women would not become the subject of oppression which meant that they would not become victims to rape and assault. My last misconception about the slavery institution is that it was a form of agreement between the involved parties who were whites and blacks mostly. From my point of view, either the two would become slave owner or the slave (McLaurin, 2011). It did not matter on the grounds of race who would own the other. Celia, A Slave by Melton A. McLaurin has helped to clarify the misconceptions about the slavery institution by providing facts and firsthand accounts of an experience by one of the former slaves.

The story of Celia who lived and died in the Callaway County, Missouri is an exceptional piece of narration that clarifies more on the slavery institution. For the author, the minorities were mishandled, and abused given their status in the antebellum America at that time. This was the case with Celias master (Robert Newsom). Importantly, reading the book paints the accurate picture of the local American setting for Celia who was a black slave. The authors work is was of significance value to the description of slavery institution (McLaurin, 2011). For example, the reflection of the moral ambiguity by McLaurin proved that indeed the antebellum America was more corrupt and insensitive to women rights. The slave owners to Celia viewed her to be a lesser being given her position Missouri. First, she was of black decency, a race that was highly disputed upon.

This aspect of her life is justified in many dimensions in the narrations. For example, McLaurin states that Yet the lives of lesser figures, men and women who lived and died in virtual anonymity, often better illustrate certain aspects of the major issues of a particular period than do the lives of those who, through significant achievement, the appeal of the orator or the skill of the polemicist, achieve national prominence (McLaurin, 2011). Here, I came to the understanding of his choice of character for narration in that Melton A. McLaurin understood the need to bring to light the miseries of the minorities in the Antebellum America. Secondly, the authors efforts were aimed at enlightening societies about the challenges of the blacks in the slavery institution. For example, McLaurin wanted to reveal that black women were used as domestic servants while being used as sex objects at that time. Thirdly, the author ensured that one would understand that the author used Celias story to showcase the immorality of slave owners who were typically by White by nature.

The book expounded my understanding of the divided republic before the Civil War. For instance, many accounts of the Republic reveal that the Southerners were pro-slavery identity. This perspective meant that they were in support of the slavery institution given the fact that they had seen its contribution to their economy. Example cases of the advantages of the system included the plantation farming that had helped acquire African-American slaves in large numbers. Thus, they wanted to expand the institution to the Western territories that had been acquired (McLaurin, 2011). The other meaningful argument presented was that the North was a divided state given the case that they were sentimental about abolishing the slavery institution. Importantly, the northerners held different opinions about the issues of slavery and proposed an increasing in taxation for Southerners who were mainly agriculturalist.


Conclusively, Celia, A Slave by Melton A. McLaurin is an interesting book that has significant historic information on the institution of slavery. For McLaurin, the story of Celia paved the way into an in-depth understanding of the tribulations of the black people in America during the 16th, 17th and 18th century. In my view, reading the book was important in that it helped distinguish myths from factual information acquired from the first-hand account of a former slave. In many ways, the book has contributed to clarify issues of the slavery institution and its history in the American society.


McLaurin, M. A. (2011). Celia, a slave. University of Georgia Press, Georgia.

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