Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave recently swept the Independent Spirit Awards and earned three Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Behind the film’s talented cast and lead player Chiwetel Ejiofor is a real-life story of slavery, heartache and, eventually, freedom. The real Solomon Northup was kidnapped by slave traders in 1841, shipped to New Orleans, and forced to serve for over a decade. He didn’t win his freedom until 1853, which is when he wrote a book about his experiences.
The emotional memoir, of the same name, sold 30,000 copies within three years and helped authorities identify the kidnappers, Alexander Merrill and Joseph Russell. An old New York Times article covering the Northup case has recently appeared on Twitter. Northup’s name was misspelled in the article (twice), but the Times has corrected/acknowledged the error — 161 years later.
You can see the original article, below. Visit this link for a peek at the Times’ announcement of Northup’s memoir, which the paper says “will be widely read.”
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