She Suffered Years Of Abuse From An Enslaver – Until She Killed Him

interior of a slave cabin
Briona Lamback
April 24, 2022

Robert Newsom had been raping Celia, his enslaved servant, for most of her teenage years – and she was fed up. She was in love with a man named George, and was expecting a baby. George encouraged Ceila to end the abuse.  

With her love and family on the line, she did what she had to do.

On June 23, 1855, Newsom crept into Celia’s cabin and tried to force himself onto her. But this time, she fought back! Celia clubbed Newsom twice with a stick and watched him sink to the floor. 

But she wasn’t done yet.

Celia paced the room, figuring out her next move. She decided to burn her enslavers body in the fireplace overnight, and in the morning, she smashed his bones and hid them beneath the floorboards. 

She’d taken her power back, even if only temporarily.

As white supremacy would have it, Celia was ultimately convicted of murder – though it was self-defense – and was hung to death. 

Today, one in four Black girls will be sexually assaulted before they turn 18. And there are countless cases of Black women and girls fighting back against abusers, only to be incarcerated.

Sometimes we have to take our liberation into our own hands and in the best way we see fit, despite the outcome. Liberating ourselves CAN mean using violence – that’s up for us to decide!

We have a quick favor to ask:

PushBlack is a nonprofit dedicated to raising up Black voices. We are a small team but we have an outsized impact:

  • We reach tens of millions of people with our BLACK NEWS & HISTORY STORIES every year.
  • We fight for CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM to protect our community.
  • We run VOTING CAMPAIGNS that reach over 10 million African-Americans across the country.

And as a nonprofit, we rely on small donations from subscribers like you.

With as little as $5 a month, you can help PushBlack raise up Black voices. It only takes a minute, so will you please ?

Share This Article: