Twelve Years a Slave Book Review by Solomon Northup

 

Hearing that the movie was coming out and they were talking Oscar I thought I would pick up this memoir and give it a read.  Published in 1853 it was written by Solomon Northrup an African-American free man from New York who was kidnapped in 1841 and sold into slavery where he stayed for the next twelve years.  Held by several "masters" he spent most of his captivity in Louisiana under a strict owner named Epps, who ruled his slaves with an iron hand. His account is a bit rough to read, it's written with dialog of the time, and although a black man it’s obvious he was educated since he has a large vocabulary.
 
Though it was doubted by some that this was a true story he names names and places that were easy to collaborate as well as court documents that worked together to prove his story. What I am left with is the knowledge of how cruel the slaves were treated.  I also had never really thought about how many free men were actually kidnapped and sold into slavery.

All-in-all, an interesting, thought provoking book. Good to read before seeing the movie.

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