Today, we will learn about the heroine, Adalia Winston.
Adalia Winston (AKA Althea Claymore)
Brief Description: Adalia Winston has a secret. It’s a secret that could ruin her life. She is a runaway slave from a plantation in Barbados. Yet at nineteen years of age and with only a quarter of her blood Negro, no one can tell by looking at her. In fact, she’s quite stunning with her long ebony hair, deep sparkling onyx eyes, and golden skin. So stunning that she attracts the attention of quite a few men in Charleston, one of whom is a slave owner named Morgan Rutledge. Yet, there’s more to Adalia than meets the eye. Born into a loving family, she was educated by her noble father and trained in medicinal herbs by her Negro mother. She uses that training now to make a living for herself in Charleston, while hiding from her former master, a man who would give anything to possess her again. Everything is going according to plan as she settles into her new life. That is, until she meets the handsome, charming, and spoiled Morgan Rutledge who sweeps her off her feet into an opulent world she only dreamed of before.
Strengths: Courageous, Wise, Kind, Good listener, Self-sacrificing, Strong faith
Weaknesses: Stubborn, Opinionated, Insecure
Quirks: Adalia bears whip marks on her back that she feels brand her forever as less than human. She carries a string of black pearls around with her that belonged to her mother.
Inspiration: I drew Adalia’s character from my own past as a young girl and from the lives of many young girls I see around me. Let’s face it, we all want to be liked. We all want to be popular and fit in. We all want to be a part of the “in” crowd. But how few of us ever make it. I never did. In fact, I was teased profusely throughout my school days. But, oh, how I wanted, how I dreamed, of being popular. I realize now as I look back that there would have been a huge price to pay for such attention, and I thank God He didn’t answer my prayers. Because Adalia has been a slave and very mistreated, she has a low opinion of herself, so when the Charleston elite begin to accept her as one of their own, it becomes easy for her to get caught up in the “popular” crowd, in their parties and plays and events. In the process, however, she loses part of herself. Even worse, she loses her interest in God and the things that are really important in life. I wrote this story to help young women see that very often the price of popularity is far too high and could end up destroying their lives.
Topics for discussion: What qualities of Adalia's can you relate to? What makes her a sympathetic character for you? Have you ever wanted so badly to belong that you were willing to change who you are just to fit in?
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