Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Forthcoming Film And Book--- 12 Years A Slave: An Autobiography; This Is Not Another Django

The forthcoming film 12 Years A Slave is based upon the incredible but true autobiography of Solomon Northrup of freedom, enslavement and escape. 12 Years a Slave was published in 1853 and reveals that a free black man was kidnapped in Washington D. C. in 1841 and worked on Louisiana plantations for 12 years before his release.   In antebellum America, Northrup lived in upstate New York, was kidnapped and then sold into slavery. Northrup was purchased by a cruel master but experienced unexpected kindness from a variety of sources. Northrup's constant struggle is stay alive as a slave and retaining his dignity as a human being. A chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist changes Northrup's odds of leaving slavery and returning to his home and family.

Actors you may recognize include Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti, and Benedict Cumberbatch. The trailer is located on MovieWeb. The full cast list, screenwriters and other credits are located at the Internet Movie Database.  The screenplay is written by John Ridley who wrote the screenplay for Redtails and Three Kings

The book is available at Amazon.com is hardcover, paperback, audiobook,and Kindle editions.

Also, in August 2013 Praeger Publishing will offer an annotated, 238 page edition of the autobiography.  The following text is provided by the publisher.

Solomon Northup: The Complete Story of the Author of Twelve Years A Slave provides a compelling chronological narrative of Northup's entire life, from his birth in an isolated settlement in upstate New York to the activities he pursued after his release from slavery. This comprehensive biography of Solomon Northup picks up where earlier annotated editions of his narrative left off, presenting fascinating, previously unknown information about the author of the autobiographical Twelve Years A Slave.

This book examines Northup's life as a slave and reveals details of his life after he regained his freedom, relating how he traveled around the Northeast giving public lectures, worked with an Underground Railroad agent in Vermont to help fugitive slaves reach freedom in Canada, and was connected with several theatrical productions based upon his experiences. The tale of Northup's life demonstrates how the victims of the American system of slavery were not just the slaves themselves, but any free person of color—all of whom were potential kidnap victims, and whose lives were affected by that constant threat.

1 comment:

David Fiske said...

Thanks for mentioning the coming biography of Northup (I am one of the co-authors). Just to be clear, our book does not include the original text of Twelve Years a Slave (though it does have an extensive summary of it). I'm very excited about the film, which I understand is pretty faithrul to Northup's narrative. - David Fiske