TV News LIES

Thursday, Oct 02nd

Last update07:09:50 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...


Gitmo hunger strikes are a cry for help. Why is the US fighting back with secret torture?

gitmo hunger strike“Safe, Humane, Legal, Transparent”: so goes the slogan of the world’s most famous offshore prison. It’s...

California protesters block Israeli-owned ship

Zim shanghaiOfficials say a group of pro-Palestinian protesters are again blocking an Israeli-owned ship from unloading its...

U.S. may keep secret prisoners in custody after Afghan war exit

secret prisoner in AfghanistanThe fate of a group of prisoners held in near-total secrecy by U.S. forces at a...

Edward Snowden honored with ‘alternative Nobel’

Edward SnowdenEdward Snowden was among the winners Wednesday of a Swedish human rights award, sometimes referred to...
 
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!