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Originally published in 1991, Celia, a Slave illuminates the moral dilemmas that lie at the heart of a slaveholding society by telling the story of a young slave who was sexually exploited by her enslaver and ultimately executed for his murder. Melton A. McLaurin uses Celia's story to reveal the tensions that strained the fabric of antebellum southern society by focusing on the role of gender and the manner in which the legal system was used to justify slavery. An important addition to our understanding of the pre-Civil War era, Celia, a Slave is also an intensely compelling narrative of one woman pushed beyond the limits of her endurance by a system that denied her humanity at the most basic level.
About the Author
MELTON A. McLAURIN is history professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. He is writer and director of the video documentary The Marines of Montford Point: Fighting for Freedom and the author of The Marines of Montford Point: America's First Black Marines.