Welcome to H-Afro-Am, a member of H-Net Humanities & Social Sciences OnLine. The main mission of H-Afro-Am is to provide an exchange of information for professionals, faculty and advanced students, in the field of African-American Studies.
As an opening reply, you raise the classical struggle concerning history on film: must the film adhere to the sources and evidence closely, or must it be "good theatre" as it were. Full Disclosure: the film has just come out here (South Africa), and I have yet to see it. Yet given that the Solomon narrative has been given a bit of the Hollywood treatment, there are certain conventions that would lead the account toward a particular direction, especially the need to emotionally tie things up, as Dr Fraser implies. I am sure there are many other issues, and I will be quiet for now until I see the film, but this tension between the conventions of cinema and historical accuracy will be an important matter to discuss. -- NR
These are some thoughts I had about 12 Years A Slave, I am very happy for Lupita Nyong'o and the Oscars that 12 Years A Slave won. However I am concerned about the sociological statement that Hollywood is making by celebrating this unique story of American slavery. This story is problematic for me personally for one main reason: it privileges individual freedom over a collective freedom that Shola Lynch's film on Angela Davis privileges. The film's ending implies a resolution for Solomon that he attains by physically abusing the Black woman under the owners' orders. The film implies that in order to survive and be free, a Black man must debase himself and willingly abuse a Black woman before his owner which, to me, is a complete farce.
The main mission of H-Afro-Am is to provide an exchange of information for professionals, faculty and advanced students, in the field of African American Studies (also called Afrocentricity, Africology, Africana Studies, Afro-American Studies, Black Studies, and Pan-African Studies). As an electronic infrastructure for the field, it will establish a professional academic foundation inclusive of all ideological tendencies and schools of thought.