Twelve Years a Slave – A memoir by Solomon Northrup

Twelve Years a Slave is a rare read. Due to the nature of slavery, it was few and far between a chattel that could write. Evidence was corroborated and the narrative has become an enduring classic, a rivulet of emotions. For some gratitude – others bitterness.

The narrative was used as a testament and lorded for its role in abolishing slavery in the United States.

Many of the statements contained in the following pages are corroborated by abundant evidence – That he has adhered strictly to the truth, the editor, at least, who has had an opportunity of detecting any contradiction or discrepancy in his statements, is well satisfied.

-David Wilson.

Whitehall, N.Y, May, 1853

First published in 1853, Twelve years a slave is the account of a man, Solomon Northrup stripped from everything. Born a freeman, Solomon lived a modest life in America until he was kidnapped, sold in to slavery.

It comes as little surprise that the slave industry would stop so low. For twelve years he lost his children, his name and his wife. Resigned from hope, he worked the plantations, and switched from master to master.

As a memoir it’s one of those reads that makes you appreciate the simplicity of modern life, or the façade of oppression. Vivid as it is raw, Twelve Years a Slave is not an easy read. I didn’t doubt it would be, and its title promises everything read will be.

Its language is far from harsh, but the violence it contains is confronting.



11 thoughts on “Twelve Years a Slave – A memoir by Solomon Northrup

  1. This is one those books that I want to read but know I can’t as the story is too real and too painful when the issues of racism and institutional racism, injustice and poverty still haven’t been addressed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a very moving story. I do agree with you that it’s painful but reading it makes you appreciate how far we’ve come.
      No matter how small that distance is, any improvement is a positive improvement and this memoir goes a long way to remind us 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh okay maybe I’m slightly less informed :/
        I would argue that the social acceptability of crimes against those of African American descent are far more acknowledged than what they formally were.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s