Just Sayin’… ‘12 Years A Slave’ history

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This led to bounty hunters and others seeking fast easy money by simply finding a Black person close to the description, claim they were the runaway and thus take them back into slavery and get the cash.

It also opened the door for even more of the Solomon Northrop incidents where free Blacks were tricked into slavery because of the still open slave trade on the eastern shores of the Southern states. The Northrop incident occurred in 1841 during the height of the fugitive slave battle between Southern Slavers and Northern Free-Soilers.

No, Solomon Northrop was not an exception to the rule. He was one of many free Blacks who were captured and sold into slavery. Most had been free all their lives. Unlike Solomon who only spent 12 years as a slave, most captured Blacks had to spend the rest of their lives in bondage.

Many people said they don’t like movies like this because it makes them angry. Well, maybe we need to be made angry, even mad, sometimes, because this was part of our history, part of this country’s history, and we, Blacks and Whites, especially our young, need to know about it. We need more movies that make us think.

After this law, the Underground Railroad, and other anti-slavery groups had to take runaway slaves to Canada because it was no longer safe for them in the northern and eastern states.

Thank God enough of us, Blacks and Whites, supported this movie and our responses were so positive that the movie industry saw fit to give it the Oscar as the Best Movie of the year, Lupita Nyong’o received the Best Supporting Actress award for her great performance, and Chiwetel Ejiofor was nominated as Best Actor. This should open the door for more movies like this.

I agree it deserved Best Movie because it entertained as well as educated. If you haven’t seen it, you need to.

2013 was a great year for Black film and “12 Years A Slave” was just one of many outstanding films featuring Blacks.

Forest Whitaker

This film image released by The Weinstein Company shows Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines in a scene from “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” (AP Photo/The Weinstein Company, Anne Marie Fox, File)

“The Butler” starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey was another great movie depicting the Jim Crow system, which was slavery in another form.

foxx-video-django-unchained-jamie-foxx-2.jpg

Jamie Foxx in Django (AP Photo/File)

For those of you who are still upset after watching those two just pick up “Django” starring Jamie Foxx and Samuel L. Jackson. You will get some satisfaction from that one.

Other movies to watch  on DVD are: “Winnie Mandela” a great movie starring Jennifer Hudson; “Olympus Has Fallen,” Morgan Freeman; “Think Like A Man,” all star cast; “White House Down,” Jamie Foxx; “The Colony,” Laurence Fishburne; “Steel Magnolias “ all star cast in this Black version; “Just Wright” beautiful love story starring Queen Latifah and Common; “Mister & Pete” a touching story of a Black kid and Asian kid surviving the streets of New York City with no parents; “Contradictions of the Heart” very different; “Endless Summer” no name cast of kids spending their summer break; “Tower Heist” Eddie Murphy; “Not Easily Broken” Morris Chestnut; “Preacher’s Kid” no name cast; “42” a classic; “After Earth” a terrible movie starring Will and Jaden Smith; “Star Trek—Into Darkness” with Zoe Saldana; “Red Tails” about the Tuskegee Airmen; “2Guns” starring Denzel Washington; “The Samaritan” starring Samuel L. Jackson. Tyler Perry has several offerings with all but “Madea’s Witness Protection” being outstanding. They are: “Alex Cross,” “Good Deeds,” “Temptation,” and “Peeples” all great.

One that’s coming soon will be “Black Nativity” starring Angela Bassett and Forest Whitaker. Angela won the NAACP’s Image Award as Best Actress for her role in it. It was excellent. “Mandela” which is still playing at theaters will soon join this list. But the best of them all is “The Best Man Holiday” which is as good as the original “The Best Man” which is a classic. The all-star cast returned and was even better than before.

(Ulish Carter is the managing editor of the New Pittsburgh Courier.)

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