Slavery was a common issue during the 1850s. This included sexual abuse of women. Melton A. McClaurin, author, “Celia, A Slave” demonstrates the impactful and powerful story of a slave. He also describes the story of Robert Newsom, who came to the west looking for cheaper and better land. Robert Newsom had sex with Celia after his wife died. Celia was exploited by Robert Newsom and was then dehumanized through five years of being raped almost daily. Celia was 14 years old when she was sold to slavery. This is where the first rapes began. Celia received her own cabin among the other slaves to cover the fact Robert Newsom was wrongdoing. Celia was attracted to George, an African American slave. But Robert Newsom continued to sexually assault Celia daily. Celia believed she could stand up for her rights, even though she was a slave without much rights. Celia, I believe, was entitled to defend her self. Women who are treated unfairly or disrespectfully should be allowed to seek help and protect themselves from punishment.
Women should be able to speak up and not fear being retaliated at. Celia lived a lonely, hard-living life on Robert Newsom’s plantation. Celia was treated poorly throughout her stay at the farm. Celia was not treated with the respect she deserves throughout the farm. Newsom wasn’t looking for a domestic or field servant… he wanted to replace his wife, who had been dead for almost a year. Celia felt helpless to speak out against the sexual assaults after suffering five years of misery. It is sad that a woman has to endure all those years of torture because she fears for her life. Celia was afraid of what she would get raped. This caused her to ignore the fact and hold her anger until she is fed up. Robert Newsom then retaliated against Celia. They are less protected as slaves in African America and are therefore less able to speak up for their rights. Instead, they feel obliged to follow the orders of their masters to ensure that other people are not punished. Celia was right to speak up and refuse to be treated as dirt. She spoke out to try to stop the sexual abuse and to recover her personal health. Celia could have chosen a more humane way of dealing with her situation. Many agreed with her crime of first degree murder. Robert was right to defend her, but many others disagreed. Celia realized she had no other options. She acted out her anger and tried to protect herself. Celia was subject to unfair treatment, disrespect and other cruel situations. She needed a way out of her suffering and pain. Celia was faced with few options. She decided to take action and stand up for her pain and suffering for five years. The slave women were treated unfairly by their masters and left in danger. The law did not allow slave women to speak out against their sexual abuse and assault. And no one was willing to help them. Celia was sex assaulted five times per year for five years. Celia finally made the decision to confront Robert Newsom, but she was ultimately killed as a result. Celia and all other women who find themselves in similar situations feel the need not to speak up and should not be punished. Every woman is equal, and should be treated with respect regardless of their circumstances.