12 Years a Slave

Twelve Years as a Slave

Twelve Years as a Slave

You have heard the glowing reviews and the Oscar buzz for the Brad Pitt produced film 12 Years a Slave. This brilliant film will leave you wanting to know more. Luckily for you the library has the resources you are craving. So if you have seen the movie 12 Years a Slave, or are looking forward to seeing it, the library has some great items for you.

The library has the book upon which the film was based Twelve Years a Slave : narrative of Solomon Northup, a citizen of New-York, kidnapped in Washington City in 1841, and rescued in 1853  by Solomon Northrup is available in our electronic books collection.  It tells the story of Solomon Northup a free black man living a successful life as a musician and skilled carpenter before he was kidnapped and sold into slavery.


Director Steve McQueen found the book so compelling it became his passion to make the story into a film.  To hear Steve McQueen talk about making this movie, listen to his interview on Fresh Air with Terry Gross.  If you are interested in seeing another version of this compelling story , we have Solomon Northup’s Odyssey  done by PBS in 1984 is available in our streaming film collection.

If you are interested in reading additional narratives from former slaves, try The Long Walk to Freedom a collection of 12 runaway slave narratives. The library also has a collection of writings from over 1,000 African-Americans from  the founding of the republic to 9/11 in the Alexander Street database Black Thought and Culture  over 1,300 fiction and non-fiction documents provide insight into many historical events.

Written by Heather Perry, Reference, Resource Sharing and Streaming Media Librarian