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Celia, a Slave: A True Story


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YA-- A remarkable biography of a young woman who at the age of 14 became the working and sexual slave of her widowed Missouri master. After bearing two of his children, and falling in love with a fellow bondsman, Celia tried to sever the sexual relationship with her enslaver. He raped her; she killed him while try to defend herself. She was convicted of murder and hanged at the age of 19. McLaurin has masterfully researched judicial, historical, and contemporary materials in preparing this compelling and thoughtful narrative. Enhanced by its sensitivity and brevity, this book is a provocative starting point for discussion of its many ethical, legal, historical, and social issues. It should be required reading for high school students.-- Catherine vanSonnenberg, San Diego Public Library

"Powerful...beautifully invaluable contribution to Southern history, women's history and the history of slavery."-- "Dallas Morning News""Compelling...a shocking tale...a remarkable account...McLaurin succeeds admirably in using Celia's story to raise larger issues about the meaning of American slavery for both blacks and whites, for both women and men."-- "The New York Times Book Review""Vivid...moving and masterfully told...McLaurin's rich narrative reads like a fine novel; his scholarship makes a vitally important contribution to understanding this chapter in American history."-- "Publishers Weekly""Excellent...a remarkable story...McLaurin is both scrupulous and imaginative in his interpretation of the evidence, which sometimes presents glimpses of slavery that are almost never revealed in other accounts."-- "The New York Review of Books""Eloquent...Her story is enough to give you the sort of anger that never goes away."-- "Chicago Tribune"

This moving and masterfully told true story concerns the abuse and execution of a female black slave in antebellum Missouri. (Feb.)

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