TV News LIES

Monday, Feb 20th

Last update05:20:13 AM GMT

You are here News Human Rights The horrors '12 Years a Slave' couldn't tell

The horrors '12 Years a Slave' couldn't tell

E-mail Print PDF

Northup familySolomon Northup’s story, which has been studied by historians for decades, now has a second life in American popular culture, thanks to director Steve McQueen’s extraordinary movie “12 Years a Slave.” The film — nominated for nine Oscars, including best picture and best director — brings Northup’s remarkable 1853 memoir to life with searing portrayals of torture and survival.

It has revived curiosity about Northup’s life and renewed debate over how to depict the pain of the past and the present. Does McQueen’s movie go too far with violence?

An answer may be found in the diary of a Union soldier named John Burrud. Ten years after Northup was rescued from slavery in Louisiana, Burrud marched through the neighborhood where Northup had been held captive by the brutal cotton planter Edwin Epps. The soldier knew the story and recognized where he was. “Resumed our march 4 o Clock AM followed Bayou Beauf down,” he scribbled in his little leather-bound pocket diary on May 18, 1863. “I think this is the place that Solomon Northup operated.”

I stumbled across Burrud’s diary just before Christmas in the reading room of the gorgeous Huntington Library in San Marino, Calif., which is a long way from Avoyelles Parish, La., or Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where Northup lived. I had no idea when I opened it that Burrud’s diary would shed any light on Northup’s story and its legacies. In fact, I had been looking for something entirely different. History is full of surprises.

Burrud’s diary adds a new layer to this history. Aware of Northup’s celebrity, Burrud followed in his footsteps. He spoke with people who had worked alongside him, the people Northup left behind when he was rescued 10 years earlier. They confirmed Northup’s story, yet what Burrud saw and heard convinced him that Northup’s memoir did not tell the whole truth, because the whole truth of slavery’s horror could not be told.

More...


Most Recent Related Stories...


US: Remembering Japanese internment camps 75 years on

Japan interment campsJim Matsuoka left his marbles at Manzanar, the site of the Japanese American internment camp where...

Meryl Streep says Trump provokes 'brownshirts and bots and worse'

Meryl StreepIn an emotional speech that was by turns tearful, defiant and humorous, Meryl Streep doubled down...

Thousands in Barcelona urge Spain to take in more refugees

Thousands protest for Spain to take in ore refugeesThousands of protesters marched Saturday in Barcelona to demand that Spain's conservative-led government increase its efforts...

What immigrant advocates want you to do if ICE agents come to your door

what immigrants can doThe sudden and unexpected deportation of undocumented Mexican immigrant Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos has sparked fears...
 
America's # 1 Enemy
Tee Shirt
& Help Support TvNewsLIES.org!
TVNL Tee Shirt
 
TVNL TOTE BAG
Conserve our Planet
& Help Support TvNewsLIES.org!
 
Get your 9/11 & Media
Deception Dollars
& Help Support TvNewsLIES.org!
 
The Loaded Deck
The First & the Best!
The Media & Bush Admin Exposed!