Relevance for Today’s Reader

The Curse of Caste; or the Slave Bride was published 150 years ago, but as modern day readers, we still have plenty to learn from the text.  As an educated African American woman living in the North, Collins may have known a much different life than many of her fellow African Americans.  But because she had the freedom to learn how to read and write, she claimed a voice during a time when many others found themselves silenced.

The text brings to light the issues of slavery and caste prejudice, giving us an opportunity to see what life was like in the free North and the antebellum South at the time of the Civil War.  The relationship between Colonel Tracy and Richard is a closer look at how slavery, the War itself, and racism divided not just the United States, but families as well.  As readers today, we can appreciate the more personal touch, rather than distant historical facts.