12 Years A Slave

Just Read It

12 years a slave After the Oscar wins for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress for Lupita Nyong’o, it feels a bit redundant to now add to the buzz surrounding 12 Years A Slave but it is such a powerful story that it would be wrong not to review the memoir from which the film was adapted.

I came to the book after seeing the film, intrigued by the story of Solomon Northup, a free black man living with his wife and children in New York until his kidnapping into slavery. The first thing that stood out for me in this novel, and indeed the film, is identity.  Upon his kidnapping, Solomon repeatedly states his name and asserts his rights as a free man. But without ‘free papers’ to prove his identity and his free status, Solomon becomes who the slave masters say he is: a slave called Platt. In scenes reminiscent of that infamous…

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