A Riveting Account – 12 Years A Slave
I’ve had the honor to read a book – a true accounting of one man’s journey into slavery and his struggle to maintain his humanity, his life and to regain his freedom. The book I speak of is 12 Years A Slave by Solomon Northup. This story has just recently been brought to the modern forefront with the release of a film by the same name. And though films can be compelling they can not fully convey all the emotion and intent that is found in the author’s written words.
It is the story of a man, born free of free parents during this country’s darkest days of slavery – who was then abducted from his home in Washington City and sold into captivity as a slave to labor in the cotton field of Louisiana. He was educated, skilled and played the violin and for twelve years he suffered extreme degradation and cruelty – looked on as nothing more than one man’s property even less than a favorite dog – paraded, worked and beaten on his owners whim.
Here is where I wanted to place an excerpt from the book but I couldn’t choose one from the many poignant passages. The 145 pages read like a gripping fiction but it is a true accounting – one man’s history from 1841 to 1853, that was verified by the editor David Wilson. It is a history that should never be forgotten and a story that should be read and discussed in every school in our nation.
So many have forgotten or make light of what can only be referred to as a heinous injustice that in these modern times seems almost unfathomable. Yet it has only been 150 years since Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation and a Civil War was fought in dispute over the black man’s very humanity and his right to live and breathe as every other citizen in these United States – four to five generations removed from today.
It is for that very reason I hope you will take the time out from your busy schedule to read this riveting account.
Until tomorrow – Write On!
~ K.L. Parry