Friday, July 25, 2014

NEW REVIEW : 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

3.5 out of 5 books

Although this book 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup was originally published in 1853, the book was left forgotten about and rediscovered in the early 1960's and now adapted into a film. The story is a narrative told by Solomon Northup and how he was born free, in a free state for nearly thirty years. Solomon had owned his own land, had a wife and three children. When Solomon is introduced to two white men and is offered a job that pays well he is quick to accept the job. The men seem friendly, looked to be about business and it was an opportunity that would make him a decent amount of money for him and his family. Unaware that that would be the last time he would lay his eyes on his family for 12 long years.

Going with those two white men, turned out to be the worst mistake Solomon ever made. He was imprisoned and sold into slavery and was beat mercilessly until he was forced to repeat that he was not a free man. Solomon was tricked and sold into a slave market, where the white man would sell a free man into slavery. Solomon was told if he ever mentioned he was a free man again, he would be killed. So keeping his mouth shut he endured years of being beaten, berated and living in a cabin with just a blanket or a board if he was lucky, as a bed.

As a slave Solomon was only known as Platt, well known around the surrounding plantations for his musical skill and also the way that he was good at fixing and making pretty much anything. He was hired out to different plantations to help build or entertain the other whites. Never losing hope Solomon one day hoped to see his family again, plotting and planning but the problem was who could he really trust with the knowledge of the truth of his captivity.

12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup is a narrative of a free man sold into slavery that was written and published the year after he was freed. The story is heart wrenching and one that will have you literally cringing. One that will make you thank God for the little things you have in life that you do not think much about and the fact that we are free and not enslaved like those of our past. The horrible way slaves were treated and whipped/beaten for the smallest of things is astounding. 12 Years a Slave is one of those books that give an in depth account of what it was like to be a slave during the 1800's. The only real issue I have with this book is the fact that it has been revised more than once. There were some things I would have really liked to know more about, there were too many people mentioned in this story that really have no relevance but at the end of the story you see that justice was at least served for this one black man.

Reviewed by Leona
Urban Reviews

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