Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup
Thursday, August 3, 2017
The son of a freed slave, Solomon Northup lived the first thirty years of his life as a free man in upstate New York. In the spring of 1841, he was offered a job as a violinist in a traveling circus. It was a trap. In Washington, DC, Northup was drugged, kidnapped, and sold into slavery. He spent the next twelve years on plantations in Louisiana, enduring backbreaking labor, unimaginable violence, and inhumane treatment. His account of those years is a shocking, unforgettable portrait of America’s most insidious historical institution as told by a man who experienced it firsthand. First published in 1853, Northup’s memoir became a bestseller and a unique entry into the national debate over slavery. Rediscovered in the 1960s it was the inspiration for the 2013 multiple Academy Award winning film adaptation of the same name.