12 Years A Slave. It’s Still Playing In Movie Theaters – Go Out & See It!

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of seeing 12 Years A Slave where I learned about the life of former slave Solomon Northrup.

12 Years A Slave was originally based on an incredible true story of one man’s fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner, portrayed by Michael Fassbender), as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon’s chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Brad Pitt) will forever alter his life.

Solomon Northup was a free, Black, married, educated family man skilled as a musician and carpenter, living in Saratoga Springs, New York when in 1841 two white men approached him with a job offer as a fiddler in a traveling circus. There he was drugged by the men, held captive, severely beaten and sold into slavery in Louisiana. He was enslaved for more than a decade, enduring horribly violent conditions. Northup was freed in 1853 with help from colleagues and friends.

Historians state that Northup never really got the satisfaction of justice served, even though authorities apprehended his alleged kidnappers, Alexander Merrill and Joseph Russell. The kidnappers did spend seven months in jail, but the case ultimately collapsed. Among other things there were jurisdictional issues, and apathetic prosecution by a newly appointed district attorney.

Empathetic to the plight of slaves, documents show Northup almost certainly joined the Underground Railroad after his freedom— an illegal and extremely dangerous line of work, something that would sate his notable desire for adventure. He became a prolific speaker, joining Frederick Douglass and other major abolitionists in addressing Northeast audiences eager to hear his story first-hand. He became a top seller and later became an important public historical figure in the abolitionist cause.

I thoroughly enjoyed the film & I know you will too. It’s an important part of U.S. history and introduces us to some great new actors.   This movie is sooo good that it is still playing in movie theaters across the country. Go see it today!


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4 thoughts on “12 Years A Slave. It’s Still Playing In Movie Theaters – Go Out & See It!

  1. I’d planned to watch this movie with my parents..Yet wound up catching it with my Aunt this weekend, while we were in Baltimore for our family reunion..I can’t lie..I covered my eyes on alot of the brutal scenes..Just couldn’t take it in..Visually & mentally & emotionally..Even though I was prepared for my Dad read the book long ago..(& I’ll soon be reading it also..) I cried a great deal of the movie..Why? Because it was so REAL about a part of our history which is filthy, vile and inhuman. Sadder even racism still exists in our country…I daresay even the most brutal scenes do NOT dictate the horrific things done to Black folks during slavery; and after. Never will I relate nor understand such feelings of utter evil hatred..America tries to forget; which is why Northup isn’t rightfully in history books..ALL we read in history books is the basics @ MLK, Jr, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Frederick Douglas(first report I ever did was on Frederick Douglas..A+) I think this movie should be used in Black history classes/history classes for years to come..Doubt seriously if Chiwetel will get the awards he deserves; but it won’t change the fact he IS one of the few outstanding current actors. Always has been. This was the perfect role for him

    • Yes, it was a good role for him. Although I did think there were some scenes they could’ve left out. There were some moments on the ship I thought were a little too long. Also, I didn’t understand Alfre Woodard’s role in the film, did you? Was she “illegally” married to a slave owner or what?

      • I think the scenes on the ship were long on purpose…That and the brutality were to make a deep & lasting impact on movie viewers..Mission accomplished! I don’t know if Alfre was married to the slave owner or not..Her role was very brief..What was made obvious IS she was his woman; and she was given special privilege because of it. And? She was his woman only to avoid being brutually treated like a slave..What I didn’t miss? The wicked, horrific preverse way that the main slave owner sexually treated the slave of his affections…I could go on & on how that symbolizes treatment still relevant these days of White women(and Black women that make that choice) but that is another topic for another time

  2. The wife and I just seen that movie. I have to admit, there were times I wanted to turn my head. It was that brutal, but obviously true. I am ashamed to be a part of that race!

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