12 Years a Slave

Solomon Northup,

12 Years a Slave
 
 
This harrowing true story of Solomon Northup was the basis for the Academy Award-winning film "12 Years a Slave". In it, he takes the reader on an unforgettable journey from the slave markets in Washington, D.C., and New Orleans to the major cotton and sugar plantations in Louisiana.Born and raised a freeman in New York, with a house, a loving wife and two children, Northup was offered a short-term engagement as a violinist in Washington D.C. where he was tricked, drugged and sold into slavery in the deep south.Kept in bondage in Louisiana for 12 years, enduring backbreaking labor, unimaginable violence, and inhumane treatment at the hands of cruel masters, Northup was finally able to write to friends and family in New York, who succeeded in securing his release.This memoir is a shocking portrait of America’s most insidious institution and is even more disturbing in print than in the film. Published shortly after Harriet Beecher Stowe’s abolitionist classic Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Northup’s memoir became a bestseller in 1853.With its eloquent depiction of life before and after bondage, this story of his extraordinary journey shows just how the resiliency of hope and the strong human spirit can conquer even the most horrible of circumstances.“Now I had approached within the shadow of the cloud, into the thick darkness whereof I was soon to disappear, thenceforward to be hidden from the eyes of all my kindred, and shut out from the sweet light of liberty, for many a weary year.” —Solomon Northup


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