Read 12 Years a Slave, the Memoir that Won an Oscar

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Before it was the Oscar-winning Best Adapted Screenplay, before it was the Oscar-winning Best Picture, 12 Years a Slave was Solomon Northrup’s experience as a free man kidnapped into slavery. It immortalized the abject cruelty and brutality of slavery, creating a testament that has lasted and will last, lest we forget. And, as director Steve McQueen reminded us, continues in parts of the world.

I can’t help but wonder what Solomon Northrup would have thought of the glitz and glamour of the Oscars, of the highest award being given to the depiction of his life story.


Twelve Years a Slave (With the Original Illustrations) by Solomon Northrup. Amazon for $0.99. Here is the harrowing true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man living in New York. He was kidnapped by unscrupulous slave hunters and sold into slavery where he endured.