Frank Eakin is executive producer of Eakin Films and Publishing. His current project is the audiobook, e-book and paperback of Twelve Years a Slave, the slave narrative that became the lifetime project of his mother, noted writer and historian Sue Eakin, who completed her final definitive edition at age 88 in 2007. The audiobook is performed by Academy Award winner Louis Gossett Jr., and was recognized as an Amazon/Audible Best of 2013 Editor's Pick and Downpour/BBC Editor's Pick.
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Solomon Northrup's 12 Years a Slave
Solomon Northup was a free man, the son of an emancipated Negro Slave. Until the spring of 1841 he lived a simple, uneventful life with his wife and three children in Upstate New York. Then, suddenly, he fell victim to a series of bizarre events that make this one of the most amazing autobiographies ever written.
Northup accepted an offer from two strangers in Saratoga, New York, to catch up with their traveling circus and play in its band. But when the chase ended, Northup had been drugged, beaten and sold to a slave trader in Washington, D.C. Subsequently, he was shipped to New Orleans, where he was purchased by a planter in the Red River region of Louisiana. For the next 12 years Northup lived as a chattel slave under several masters. He might well have died a slave, except for another set of bizarre circumstances which enabled him to get word to his family and finally regain his freedom.
These elements alone—the kidnapping, enslavement and rescue—are sufficient for a sensational story. But Northup provides more. He was a shrewd observer of people and events. His memory was remarkable. He described cultivation of cotton and sugar in the deep South. He detailed the daily routine and general life of the Negro slave. Indeed, he vividly portrayed the world of slavery—from the underside.
Originally published in 1853, Northup's autobiography is regarded as one of the best accounts of American Negro slavery ever written by a slave.
Dr. Sue Eakin's final definitive edition of Twelve Years a Slave, includes more than 100 pages of fascinating new information—historical context, images and maps from her lifetime project. For more information, and to download her her free Collector's Extra PDF, go to: www.TwelveYearsASlave.org
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