Clippings: Northrup and Saratoga's black history

12 Years a Slave spotlights Saratoga's black history
By Dennis Yusko
Updated 10:01 am, Tuesday, March 4, 2014
http://www.timesunion.com
Copyright, 2014, Hearst Corporation

Saratoga Springs

Local residents who for years told the tragic but triumphant tale of a Saratoga violinist sold into slavery swelled with pride Monday after the story won Hollywood's top prize.

XPost Discussion: 12 Years A Slave

I have linked this network’s thread about 12 Years A Slave to comments appearing on other H-Net networks.  Click here to see a dynamic listing of these items; the listing is updated whenever a new item is published that is tagged with the film’s title.  You can bookmark the page, save it in your MyHNet space, or just return here on occasion and click its link in the menu on the right side of the network’s front page.

Peter Knupfer, Interim Editor

XPost Discussion: 12 Years A Slave

I have linked this network’s thread about 12 Years A Slave to comments appearing on other H-Net networks.  Click here to see a dynamic listing of these items; the listing is updated whenever a new item is published that is tagged with the film’s title.  You can bookmark the page, save it in your MyHNet space, or just return here on occasion and click its link in the menu on the right side of the network’s front page.

XPost Discussion: 12 Years A Slave

Our colleagues at H-Afro-Am and H-Slavery have been offering commentary and links to blogs and columns about this award-winning film.  I have linked to a dynamic saved search that updates with any items tagged with the film's title.  You can bookmark it in your browser, save it in your MyHNet space, or occasionally return to H-SHEAR and click on its link in the right menu on the front page of our network.

Re: Some Reflections on 12 Years a Slave

I agree that the narrative 12 Years a Slave is troubling.  However, those aspects are part of the original text.  It seems that "Hollywood" could have done one of two things:  reproduce the text, with many of its problems intact, including viewing this through Solomon's eyes (which is what happened); or gone beyond the text to do more research or, worse, create something not real to what we know of Solomon's life.  I shudder at the latter; would hope for the more research, but that rarely happens.  

Re: Some reflections on 12 Years A Slave

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.

Some reflections on 12 Years A Slave

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.

Manisha Sinha on the Untold History behind 12 Years a Slave


The untold history beneath ‘12 Years’
NYC's sordid history

By Manisha Sinha / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, March 2, 2014, 4:30 AM

Copyright, 2014 New York Daily News

With “12 Years a Slave” sure to win at least a few Oscars on Sunday night, on the heels of the success of “Django Unchained” and “Lincoln,” stories of black slavery and black freedom seem to have definitively arrived in Hollywood.

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