Autobiographer from west Africa that became a slave at a young age
In one of the scenes of “12 years a slave”, Solomon tells a slave
trader named “Burch” that he is actually a free man from New York and not a slave.
Burch, in a confident voice, tells Solomon that “Yah no free man. And yah ain’t
from Saratoga. Yah from Georgia. Yah nuthin’ but a Georgia runaway. Yah a
runaway nigger from Georgia”. The quote is an example of how slave holders try to
take away the identity of enslaved African Americans. Another way that slave holders
tried to take away black’s identity is by giving them new names instead of their
original names. In the movie, Freeman (a slave trader) calls out the name “Platt”
and is expecting Solomon to conform that, that is his new name.
In the movie “12 years a slave” Solomon was a free African
American man that had his own property and a family. Solomon was kidnapped and
sold into slavery in Washington D.C illegally by two Caucasian men named Brown
and Hamilton. Many free African Americans during this time have been kidnapped
and enslaved by whites. Venture smith1, was a
free black, that was born in Africa and captured under the age of 10 and sold
into slavery. Venture Smith is a prime example
of someone that was born free and enslaved at a young age.
The film “12 years a slave” is an autobiography written by
Solomon Northup, A free African American man that was born in New York in 1808.
During this period, there were slaves, free slaves, and African Americans that were
born free. Although there was a significant number of slaves living in the
south, there was a small percentage of African Americans that had their freedom
and built their own free black communities. Even though there were free blacks,
they still were not granted the same rights as free whites. Laws known as
“slave codes” restricted slaves and free blacks from behaving a certain way in
fear of rebellions and escaping.