In chapter 12, cite specific evidence that suggest that Calpurnia's ancestors may have been enslaved.

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In chapter 12, Calpurnia takes Jem and Scout to a Sunday service at First Purchase African M. E. Church, which is Maycomb's segregated black church that was purchased by freed slaves. During the service, Scout notices that there are no hymn books and finds it interesting that the congregation sings in unison using a technique called lining. After the service, Calpurnia explains that she is one of the few black citizens who can read and write.

Calpurnia goes on to tell the children that Miss Maudie Atkinson's aunt, old Miss Buford, taught her how to read. When Scout asks Calpurnia her age, Cal responds by saying, "I just have it on Christmas, it's easier to remember that way—I don’t have a real birthday" (Lee, 126). Calpurnia also mentions that she grew up on Finch's Landing. The reader is aware that Finch's Landing used to be a prosperous plantation before the Civil War and that Scout's ancestor, Simon Finch, owned slaves.

Since Calpurnia hails from Finch's Landing, it is reasonable to assume that her ancestors may have been owned by Simon Finch. Calpurnia also attends a church that was purchased by freed slaves and does not know her official birthday. These minor clues also suggest that her ancestors may have been enslaved.

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The key word is "may." It is not clear that Calpurnia's ancestors were slaves, but it is a reasonable assumption. There are several details in the chapter that suggest a background of slavery. 

First, when the children go to church, Scout describes the history of the church as a narrator. She says that the church was built by freed slaves. In other words, freed slaves used the the first fruit of their profits to build a church. Here is what the text says:

First Purchase African M.E. Church was in the Quarters outside the southern town limits, across the old sawmill tracks. It was an ancient paint-peeled frame building, the only church in Maycomb with a steeple and bell, called First Purchase because it was paid for from the first earnings of freed slaves.

This is the most direct evidence. Indirect evidence comes from the antagonism of Lula. She does not appreciate Calpurnia bringing white children. The poverty of the church as well might point to an oppressed background. 

To Kill A Mockingbird

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