↔ recommended Twelve Years a Slave (AmazonClassics Edition) (English Edition) to read ↓ ePUB Author Solomon Northup ❬

↔ recommended Twelve Years a Slave (AmazonClassics Edition) (English Edition) to read ↓ ePUB Author Solomon Northup ❬ ↔ recommended Twelve Years a Slave (AmazonClassics Edition) (English Edition) to read ↓ ePUB Author Solomon Northup ❬ PENGUIN BOOKSTWELVE YEARS A SLAVESOLOMON NORTHUP was a free man kidnapped into slavery in Washington, D.C., in 1841 Shortly after his escape, he published his memoirs to great acclaim and brought legal action against his abductors, though they were never prosecuted The details of his life thereafter are unknown, but he is believed to have died in Glen Falls, New York, around 1863.IRA BERLIN is Distinguished University Professor of History at the University of Maryland He has written broadly on the history of the larger Atlantic world, especially on African and African American slavery and freedom His many books include The Making of African America, Slaves Without Masters, Generations of Captivity, and Many Thousands Gone The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America, winner of the Bancroft Prize and the Frederick Douglass Book Prize and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR is Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the W E B Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University He is editor in chief of the Oxford African American Studies Center and TheRoot.com, and host of Faces of America PBS He is general editor for a Penguin Classics series of African American works, including The Portable Charles W Chesnutt, edited with an introduction by William L Andrews Gods Trombones by James Weldon Johnson, with a foreword by Maya Angelou Iola Leroy by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, with an introduction by Hollis Robbins and The Life of John Thompson, a Fugitive Slave by John Thompson, edited with an introduction by William L Andrews.SOLOMON NORTHUPTwelve Years a Slave Introduction byIRA BERLIN General EditorHENRY LOUIS GATES, JR. Foreword bySTEVE MCQUEEN PENGUIN BOOKS Foreword A BOOK OF COURAGEThree and a half years before finishing the production of Twelve Years a Slave I was lost I knew I wanted to tell a story about slavery, but where to start Finally, I had the idea of a free man kidnapped into bondage, but thats all I had I was attracted to a story that had a main character any viewer could identify with, a free man who is captured and held against his will For months I was trying to build a story around this beginning but not having great success until my partner Bianca Stigter, a historian, suggested that I take a look at true accounts of slavery Within days of beginning our research Bianca had unearthed Twelve Years a Slave.I think I got it, she said If ever there was an understatement The book blew both our minds the epic range, the details, the adventure, the horror, and the humanity The book read like a film script, ready to be shot I could not believe that I had never heard of this book It felt as important as Anne Franks diary, only published nearly a hundred years before.I was not alone in being unfamiliar with the book Of all the people I spoke to not one person knew about Twelve Years a Slave or about Solomon Northup This was astonishing An important tale told with so much heart and beauty needed to be widely recognized.I hope my film can play a part in drawing attention to this important book of courage.Solomons bravery and life deserve nothing less.What Is anAfrican American Classic I have long nurtured a deep and abiding affection for the Penguin Classics, at least since I was an undergraduate at Yale I used to imagine that my attraction for these booksgrouped together, as a set, in some independent bookstores when I was a student, and perhaps even in some todaystemmed from the fact that my first grade classmates, for some reason that I cant recall, were required to dress as penguins in our annual all school pageant, and perform a collective side to side motion that our misguided teacher thought she could choreograph into something meant to pass for a dance Piedmont, West Virginia, in 1956, was a very long way from Penguin Nation, wherever that was supposed to be But penguins we were determined to be, and we did our level best to avoid wounding each other with our orange colored cardboard beaks while stomping out of rhythm in our matching orange, veined webbed feet The whole scene was madness, one never to be repeated at the Davis Free School But I never stopped loving penguins And I have never stopped loving the very audacity of the idea of the Penguin Classics, an affordable, accessible library of the most important and compelling texts in the history of civilization, their black and white spines and covers and uniform type giving each text a comfortable, familiar feel, as if we have encountered it, or its cousins, before I think of the Penguin Classics as the very best and most compelling in human thought, an Alexandrian library in paperback, enclosed in black and white.I still gravitate to the Penguin Classics when killing time in an airport bookstore, deferring the slow torture of the security lines Sometimes I even purchase two or three, fantasizing that I can speed read one of the shorter titles, then make a dent in the longer one, vainly attempting to fill the holes in the liberal arts education that our degress suggest we have, over the course of a plane ride Mark Twain once quipped that a classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read, and perhaps that applies to my airport purchasing habits For my generation, these titles in the Penguin Classics form the canonthe canon of the texts that a truly well educated person should have read, and read carefully and closely, at least once For years I rued the absence of texts by black authors in this series, and longed to be able to make even a small contribution to the diversification of this astonishingly universal list I watched with great pleasure as titles by African American and African authors began to appear, some two dozen over the past several years So when Elda Rotor approached me about editing a series of African American classics and collections for Penguins Portable Series, I eagerly accepted.Thinking about the titles appropriate for inclusion in these series led me, inevitably, to think about what, for me, constitutes a classic And thinking about this led me, in turn, to the wealth of reflections on what defines a work of literature or philosophy somehow speaking to the human condition beyond time and place, a work somehow endlessly compelling, generation upon generation, a work whose author we dont have to look like to identify with, to feel at one with, as we find ourselves transported through the magic of a textual time machine a work that refracts the image of ourselves that we project onto it, regardless of our ethnicity, our gender, our time, our place This is what centuries of scholars and writers have meant when they use the word classic, anddespite all that we know about the complex intersubjectivity of the production of meaning in the wondrous exchange between a reader and a textit remains true that classic texts, even in the most conventional, conservative sense of the word classic, do exist, and these books will continue to be read long after the generation the text reflects and defines, the generation of readers contemporary with the texts author, is dead and gone Classic texts speak from their authors graves, in their names, in their voices As Italo Calvino once remarked, A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.Faulkner put this idea in an interesting way The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means, and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life That, I am certain, must be the desire of every writer But what about the reader What makes a book a classic to a reader Here, perhaps, Hemingway said it best All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you, and afterwards it belongs to you, the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was.I have been reading black literature since I was fifteen, yanked into the dark discursive universe by an Episcopal priest at a church camp near my home in West Virginia in August of 1965, during the terrifying days of the Watts Riots in Los Angeles Eventually, by fits and starts, studying the literature written by black authors became my avocation ultimately, it has become my vocation And, in my own way, I have tried to be an evangelist for it, to a readership larger than my own people, people who, as it were, look like these texts Here, I am reminded of something W S Merwin said about the books he most loved Perhaps a classic is a work that one imagines should be common knowledge, but and often isnt I would say, of African and African American literature, that perhaps classic works by black writers are works that one imagines should be common knowledge among the broadest possible readership but that less and less are, as the teaching of reading to understand how words can create the worlds into which books can transport us yields to classroom instruction geared toward passing a state authorized, standardized exam All literary texts suffer from this wrongheaded approach to teaching, mind you but it especially affects texts by people of color, and texts by womentexts still struggling, despite enormous gains over the last twenty years, to gain a solid foothold in anthologies and syllabi For every anthology, every syllabus, every publishing series such as the Penguin Classics constitutes a distinct canon, an implicit definition of all that is essential for a truly educated person to read.James Baldwin, who has pride of place in my personal canon of African American authors since it was one of his books that that Episcopal priest gave me to read in that dreadful summer of 1965, argued that the responsibility of a writer is to excavate the experience of the people who produced him But surely Baldwin would have agreed with E M Forster that the books that we remember, the books that have truly influenced us, are those that have gone a little further down our particular path than we have yet ourselves Excavating the known is a worthy goal of the writer as cultural archaeologist yet, at the same time, so is unveiling the unknown, the unarticulated yet shared experience of the colorless things that make us human something we have always known or thought we knew , as Calvino puts it, but without knowing that this author said it first We might think of the difference between Forster and Baldwin, on the one hand, and Calvino, on the other, as the difference between an author representing what has happened Forster, Baldwin in the history of a people whose stories, whose very history itself, has long been suppressed, and what could have happened Calvino in the atemporal realm of art This is an important distinction when thinking about the nature of an African American classicrather, when thinking about the nature of the texts that comprise the African American literary tradition or, for that matter, the texts in any underread tradition.One of James Baldwins most memorable essays, a subtle meditation on sexual preference, race, and gender, is entitled Here Be Dragons So much of traditional African American literature, even fiction and poetryostensibly at least once removed from direct statementwas meant to deal a fatal blow to the dragon of racism For black writers since the eighteenth century beginnings of the tradition, literature has been one weapona very important weapon, mind you, but still one weapon among manyin the arsenal black people have drawn upon to fight against antiblack racism and for their equal rights before the law Ted Joans, the black surrealist poet, called this sort of literature from the sixties Black Arts movement hand grenade poems Of what possible use are the niceties of figuration when one must slay a dragon I can hear you say give me the blunt weapon anytime Problem is, it is difficult than some writers seem to think to slay a dragon with a poem or a novel Social problems persist literature too tied to addressing those social problems tends to enter the historical archives, leaving the realm of the literary Let me state bluntly what should be obvious writers are read for how they write, not what they write about.Frederick Douglassfor this generation of readers one of the most widely read writersreflected on this matter even in the midst of one of his most fiery speeches addressing the ironies of the sons and daughters of slaves celebrating the Fourth of July while slavery continued unabated In his now classic essay What Is to the Slave the Fourth of July 1852 , Douglass argued that an immediate, almost transparent form of discourse was demanded of black writers by the heated temper of the times, a discourse with an immediate end in mind At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed.a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke For it is not light that is needed, but fire it is not the gentle shower, but thunder We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake Above all else, Douglass concludes, the rhetoric of the literature created by African Americans must, of necessity, be a purposeful rhetoric, its ends targeted at attacking the evils that afflict black people The feeling of the nation must be quickened the conscience of the nation must be roused the propriety of the nation must be startled the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced And perhaps this was so nevertheless, we read Douglasss writings today in literature classes not so much for their content but to understand, and marvel at, his sublime mastery of words, wordsto paraphrase Calvinothat never finish saying what it is they have to say, not because of their message, but because of the language in which that message is inextricably enfolded.There are as many ways to define a classic in the African American tradition as there are in any other tradition, and these ways are legion So many essays have been published entitled What Is a Classic that they could fill several large anthologies And while no one can say explicitly why generations of readers return to read certain texts, just about everyone can agree that making a best seller list in ones lifetime is most certainly not an index of fame or influence over time the longevity of ones readershipof books about which one says, I am rereading, as Calvino puts iton the other hand, most certainly is So, the size of ones readership through library use, Internet access, and sales cumulatively is an interesting factor to consider and because of series such as the Penguin Classics, we can gain a sense, for our purposes, of those texts written by authors in previous generations that have sustained salesmostly for classroom uselong after their authors were dead.There can be little doubt that Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass 1845 , The Souls of Black Folk 1903 , by W E B Du Bois, and Their Eyes Were Watching God 1937 , by Zora Neale Hurston, are the three most classic of the black classicsagain, as measured by consumptionwhile Langston Hughess poetry, though not purchased as books in these large numbers, is accessed through the Internet as frequently as that of any other American poet, and indeed profoundly so than most Within Penguins Portable Series list, the most popular individual titles, excluding Douglasss first slave narrative and Du Boiss Souls, are Up from Slavery 1903 , Booker T Washington The Autobiography of an Ex Coloured Man 1912 , James Weldon Johnson Gods Trombones 1926 , James Weldon Johnson Passing 1929 , Nella Larsen The Marrow of Tradition 1898 , Charles W Chesnutt Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl 1861 , Harriet Jacobs The Interesting Narrative 1789 , Olaudah Equiano The House Behind the Cedars 1900 , Charles W Chesnutt My Bondage and My Freedom 1855 , Frederick Douglass Quicksand 1928 , Nella LarsenThese titles form a canon of classics of African American literature, judged by classroom readership If we add Jean Toomers novel Cane 1922 , arguably the first work of African American modernism, along with Douglasss first narrative, Du Boiss The Souls, and Hurstons Their Eyes, we would most certainly have included many of the touchstones of black literature published before 1940, when Richard Wright published Native Son.Every teachers syllabus constitutes a canon of sorts, and I teach these texts and a few others as the classics of the black canon Why these particular texts I can think of two reasons First, these texts signify or riff upon each other, repeating, borrowing, and extending metaphors book to book, generation to generation To take just a few examples, Equianos eighteenth century use of the trope of the talking book an image found, remarkably, in five slave narratives published between 1770 and 1811 becomes, with Frederick Douglass, the representation of the quest for freedom as, necessarily, the quest for literacy, for a freedom larger than physical manumission we might think of this as the representation of metaphysical manumission, of freedom and literacythe literacy of great literatureinextricably intertwined Douglass transformed the metaphor of the talking book into the trope of chiasmus, a repetition with a stinging reversal You have seen how a man becomes a slave, you will see how a slave becomes a man Du Bois, with Douglass very much on his mind, transmuted chiasmus a half century later into the metaphor of duality or double consciousness, a necessary condition of living ones life, as he memorably put it, behind a veil.Du Boiss metaphor has a powerful legacy in twentieth century black fiction James Weldon Johnson, in Ex Coloured Man, literalizes the trope of double consciousness by depicting as his protagonist a man who, at will, can occupy two distinct racial spaces, one black, one white, and who moves seamlessly, if ruefully, between them Toomers Cane takes Du Boiss metaphor of duality for the inevitably split consciousness that every Negro must feel living in a country in which her or his status as a citizen is liminal at best, or has been erased at worst, and makes of this the metaphor for the human condition itself under modernity, a tellingly bold rhetorical gestureone designed to make the Negro the metaphor of the human condition And Hurston, in Their Eyes, extends Toomers revision even further, depicting a character who can only gain her voice once she can name this condition of duality or double consciousness and then glide gracefully and lyrically between her two selves, an inside self and an outside one.More recently, Alice Walker, in The Color Purple, signifies upon two aspects of the narrative strategy of Their Eyes first, she revisits the theme of a young black woman finding her voice, depicting a protagonist who writes herself into being through letters addressed to God and to her sister, Nettieletters that grow ever sophisticated in their syntax and grammar and imagery as she comes to consciousness before our very eyes, letter to letter and second, Walker riffs on Hurstons use of a vernacular inflected free indirect discourse to show that black English has the capacity to serve as the medium for narrating a novel through the black dialect that forms a most pliable and expansive language in Celies letters Ralph Ellison makes Du Boiss metaphor of the veil a trope of blindness and life underground for his protagonist in Invisible Man, a protagonist who, as he types the story of his life from a hole underground, writes himself into being in the first person in contradistinction to Richard Wrights protagonist, Bigger Thomas, whose reactive tale of fear and flight is told in the third person Walkers novel also riffs on Ellisons claim for the revolutionary possibilities of writing the self into being, whereas Hurstons protagonist, Janie, speaks herself into being Ellison himself signified multiply upon Richard Wrights Native Son, from the title to the use of the first person bildungsroman to chart the coming to consciousness of a sensitive protagonist moving from blindness and an inability to do little than react to his environment, to the insight gained by wresting control of his identity from social forces and strong individuals that would circumscribe and confine his life choices Toni Morrison, master supernaturalist and perhaps the greatest black novelist of all, trumps Ellisons trope of blindness by returning over and over to the possibilities and limits of insight within worlds confined or circumscribed not by supraforces la Wright but by the confines of the imagination and the ironies of individual and family history, signifying upon Faulkner, Woolf, and Mrquez in the process And Ishmael Reed, the father of black postmodernism and what we might think of as the hip hop novel, the traditions master paro dist, signifies upon everybody and everything in the black literary tradition, from the slave narratives to the Harlem Renaissance to black nationalism and feminism.This sort of literary signifying is what makes a literary tradition, well, a tradition, rather than a simple list of books whose authors happen to have been born in the same country, share the same gender, or would be identified by their peers as belonging to this ethnic group or that What makes these books specialclassichowever, is something else Each text has the uncanny capacity to take the seemingly mundane details of the day to day African American experience of its time and transmute those details and the characters actions into something that transcends its ostensible subjects time and place, its specificity These texts reveal the human universal through the African American particular all true art, all classics, do this this is what art is, a revelation of that which makes each of us sublimely human, rendered in the minute details of the actions and thoughts and feelings of a compelling character embedded in a time and place But as soon as we find ourselves turning to a text for its anthropological or socio logical data, we have left the realm of art we have reduced the complexity of fiction or poetry to an essay, and this is not what imaginative literature is for Richard Wright, at his best, did this, as did his signifying disciple Ralph Ellison Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday achieved this effect in music Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden achieved it in the visual arts And this is what Wole Soyinka does in his tragedies, what Toni Morrison does in her novels, what Derek Walcott does in his poetry And while it is risky to name ones contemporaries in a list such as this, I think that Rita Dove and Jamaica Kincaid achieve this effect as well, as do Colson Whitehead and Edwidge Danticat, in a younger generation There are other writers whom I would include in this group had I the space By delving ever so deeply into the particularity of the African and African American experience, these authors manage, somehow, to come out the other side, making the race or the gender of their characters almost translucent, less important than the fact that they stand as aspects of ourselves beyond race or gender or time or place, precisely in the same magical way that Hamlet never remains for long stuck as a prince in a court in Denmark.Each classic black text reveals to us, uncannily, subtly, how the Black Experience is inscribed, inextricably and indelibly, in the human experience, and how the human experience takes one of its myriad forms in blackface, as it were Together, such texts also demonstrate, implicitly, that African American culture is one of the worlds truly great and eternal cultures, as noble and as resplendent as any And it is to publish such texts, written by African and African American authors, that Penguin has created this new series, which I have the pleasure of editing.HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR.IntroductionSOLOMON NORTHUP A LIFE AND A MESSAGEFor sheer drama, few accounts of slavery match Solomon Northups tale of abduction from freedom and forcible enslavement.1 Lured to Washington in 1841 from his home in upstate New York with the promise of easy employment, fast money, and great adventure, Northup was drugged and beaten and sold into slavery within sight of the nations capitol He then joined the mass of black humanitysome one million in numberthat was forcibly transported south to reconstruct the plantation economy on new ground, as the center of American slavery shifted from the production of tobacco and rice in the seaboard states to that of cotton and sugar in the interior In Louisiana, Northup labored as a slave for twelve years until, in 1853, a dramatic rescue returned him to freedom and his family in the North.Frederick Douglass, no stranger to the brutal realities of slavery, confirmed the power of Northups narrative Think of it, Douglass wrote For thirty years a man with all a mans hopes, fears, and aspirationswith a wife and children to call him by endearing names of husband and fatherwith a home, humble it may be, but still a homethen for twelve years a thing, a chattel personal, classed with mules and horses.It chills the blood.2Blood is everywhere in Twelve Years a Slave Northup makes clear that the slave owners authority could be maintained only by terrorizing black people with relentless physical and psychological violence Whips, paddles, shackles, and stocks make repeat appearances, especially during the process of reducing the newly kidnapped free man to a slave Stripped of his clothing, nailed to the floor, Northup endures blow after blow to his naked body, with his enslavers pausing only to ask if their prisoner accepts his new status When Northup demurs, the beatings are renewed, faster and energetically, if possible, than before.3 When at last the paddle breaks, his enslaver picks up a rope and continues the assault, until Northup is reduced to silence by the threat that if he ever suggests he has been kidnapped from freedom, he will be a dead man.Northup is given a new name, Platt, and remade into a slave The whip that introduces Northup to slavery becomes an inescapable part of his life It was rarely that a day passed by without one or whippings, Northup reports It is the literal, unvarnished truth, that the crack of the lash, and the shrieking of the slaves, can be heard from dark till bed time.4Northup and his amanuensis, David Wilsona lawyer, legislator, school administrator, and minor literary figure from a town in New Yorks Hudson Valley bordering on Northupsunderstood that slaveholders and their allies would attempt to discredit Twelve Years a Slave as a fabrication To counter the doubters, Northupunlike Frederick Douglass or other narrators of slave life who preferred generalities and employed pseudonymsloaded his account with specifics, citing names, places, and dates that could be corroborated Twelve Years a Slave, Northup declared, would present a full and truthful statement of all the principal events in the history of my life, and to portray the institution of Slavery as I have seen and known it.5 Contemporary journalists and later historians studied the evidence and confirmed the veracity of Northups narrative, often down to the smallest detail.It is these details that are the great strength of Twelve Years a Slave Northup tells of the slaves food and how they ate it The majority of slaves have no knife, much less a fork They cut their bacon with the axe at the woodpile The corn meal is mixed with a little water, placed in the fire, and baked When it is done brown, the ashes are scraped off, and being placed upon a chip, which answers for a table, the tenant of the slave hut is ready to sit down upon the ground to supper The rudimentary nature of slave housing matched that of the slaves diet The cabin is constructed of logs, without floor or window The latter is altogether unnecessary, the crevices between the logs admitting sufficient light In stormy weather the rain drives through them, rendering it comfortless and extremely disagreeable The rude door hangs on great wooden hinges And so it goes, down to the mattress less bed frames, the blank walls, and the glassless windows Furniture, or rather lack of such, followed the same pattern Slaves reclined year after year upon a plank twelve inches wide and ten feet long with a pillow that was a stick of wood The bedding was a coarse blanket, and not a rag or shred beside Moss might be used, were it not that it directly breeds a swarm of fleas.6In its depth and breadth, Twelve Years a Slave provides an extraordinarily complete view of slavery in the plantation South in the years prior to the Civil War But while Northup hews close to the facts, his account is no innocent chronicle Northup writes with purpose Although there is no evidence he was actively involved in the abolitionist movement prior to his abduction, helike most Northern free blacksdespised slavery and how it degraded black people, free as well as slave Enslavement stoked Northups generalized hatred of the institution and activated his determination to strike a blow against it Almost immediately after he regained his freedom, Northupdoubtless encouraged by the opponents of slaverydecided to make his story known, and within two years of his return, his book was in print.On page after page, Northup tells of the brutality of chattel bondage, the endless and often senseless beatings, the frequent, soul crushing humiliations, the casual and callous destruction of family lifethemes sure to raise the ire of white Northerners, even those who had little or no interest in the movement against slavery He is especially attentive to the dangers slave women faced and to the seemingly endless sexual abuse they endured at the hands of white men of all classes True to the abolitionist indictment of slavery, he demonstrates how slavery subverted the work ethic and undermined the values of self improvement that white Northerners believed central to the creation of the good society Twelve Years a Slave is thus a window into both the institution of slavery and the abolitionist indictment of it.Like the abolitionists, Northup emphasizes the enormous difference between black life in freedom and in slavery Slaveholders and their apologists liked to elide the two, and indeed characterized the condition of Southern slaves as superior To be sure, Northup hardly lived a life of ease as a free man He appreciated how Northern racism confined black people to those menial positions, which seem to be especially allotted to the children of Africa.7 He and his wife scrambled to make a living, often simultaneously working at two or three jobs, to support their family It was Northups desire to earn a few extra dollars that allowed his kidnappers to lure him into their diabolical trap.But Northup took enormous pride in his standing as a free man and in his free ancestry He gloried in his fathers reputation for industry and integrity, his rise into the property holding class, and the political rights that accompanied property ownership He made much of his education, the time employed over my books, and his musical virtuosity.8 While acknowledging the limits of freedom in the North, he made certain his readers would not confuse the life of a Northern free black with that of a Southern slave.But Twelve Years a Slave is about Southern slavery, not Northern freedom, and Northup shines a harsh light on slaverys raison dtre work There are few better accounts of the slaves work in the plantation South than Northups Following the work process from the moment a cottonseed is dropped in the ground to the backbreaking work of pulling the white tufts from the boll, Northup gives a sense of how the demands of cotton set the hours slaves worked, the intensity of their labor, and seasonal patterns that tied them to the field Perhaps even important, he reveals the various techniques slaves employed to protect themselves against the killing pace set by their owners And he traces cane sugar from field to factory, again explaining how the demands of making sugar not only left slaves exhausted at days end but also informed the slaves understanding of the world in which they had been incarcerated He understands that workconstant and unrelentingis the terrain where the deadly struggle between slaves and their owners plays out most fully and where the slaves sense of self emerges.Plantation hands have been depicted as cogs in a great machine, marching mindlessly up and down the rows of cotton or through the fields of cane, driven by an overseers lash Northup reveals that even on the great plantations, slaves were often jacks of all trades, laboring at a multitude of tasks caring for stock, building fences, chopping wood, delivering messages, among dozens of other odd jobs In the interstices of these many tasks, slaves created their own economy and their own life.It is the custom in Louisiana, as I presume it is in other slave States, Northup notes, to allow the slave to retain whatever compensation he may obtain for services performed on Sundays So called Sunday money, or what historians have labeled the slaves economy, was only part of an elaborate set of arrangements that enabled enslaved men and women to augment the meager allowance that slave owners doled out With it, slaves purchased tableware, extra clothes, tobacco, liquor, and occasionally gaudy ribbonsto deck their hair in the merry season of the holidays, requests that, if made to their owners, would be answered with a kick, or laughed at as a joke With his Sunday money, Northup purchased a violin, without which, he admits, I scarcely can conceive how I could have endured the long years of bondage Northups account of Sunday moneyincluding his own rise to the wealthiest nigger on Bayou Bufillustrates how the slaves economy was the material basis for an independent slave culture.9Work in the fields and the workshops may have ended at sunset, but work itself continued after dusk and beyond Having completed a days work, each slave, Northup recounts, must then attend to his respective chores One feeds the mules, another the swineanother cuts the wood, and so forth besides, the packing is all done by candle light Finally, at a late hour, they reach the quarters, sleepy and overcome with the long days toil Then a fire must be kindled in the cabin, the corn ground in the small hand mill, and supper, and dinner for the next day in the field, prepared.10 There would be no rest.The pace and unrelenting nature of work broke many slaves psychologically as well as physically Even those who survived lived in fears shadow It followed them to sleep and greeted them in the morning The slave fears he will be caught lagging through the day he fears to approach the gin house with his basket load of cotton at night he fears, when he lies down, that he will oversleep.11 Few accounts give a better sense of the terror that even the most resilient slave faced every day.Northup was a particularly astute student of the society into which he had been forcibly inserted Like other slaves, he knew not merely the geography and topography of the plantation and its environsalthough Northup knew them well enough to sketch several maps for his book, giving it added authenticitybut also the social terrain that extended from the slave quarter to the Big House Such knowledge was a prerequisite for survival Slaves distinguished between successful and incompetent slave owners, for bankrupt owners would eventually send their slaves to the uncertainty of the auction block If it was important for slaves to know their owners bank balance, it may have been even important to know their characterto be able to tell the mean drunkards from the harmless ones, the benevolent Christians from the vengeful ones, and those who ruled with the carrot from those who relied on the stick.An understanding of the owners world did not stop at the master himself but extended to those who acted on the masters behalf stewards, managers, and overseers None of these, however, was important than the mistress of the plantation, who could play a role in a slaves life equally important as that of the owner While her authority centered in the Big House, it sometimes extended to the fields Often plantation mistresses relations with slavesparticularly with enslaved womenwere complicated by their husbands dalliances in the quarter, where the other mistress resided Northup witnessed the cruel irony of slave women who had been raped by their owner receiving yet another round of abuse from the masters wife.Ever alive to the nuances of domination, Northup is especially good at revealing the everyday slights designed to demean slaves and cow them into submission by denying their manhood or womanhood He reports how slaves learned to lower their eyes, take off their hats, and bare their heads in front of a white manthe down cast eyes and uncovered headin the attitude and language of a slaveand to step back on the sidewalk to allow a white woman to pass He tells of how slave men were boys and slave women girls, diminutives applied indiscriminately to slaves even though they may have passed the number of three score years and ten.12But the slaves had weapons of their own, and Twelve Years a Slave explicates the various methods slaves employed to deny masters the complete domination they so desired Again, Northup links resistance to the very essence of slavery work If the demands of work drove some slaves to the edge, they also buffered the worst aspects of the slave regime Northup emphasizes how slaves found satisfaction and pride in their daily accomplishments, even knowing they gained few benefits from the labor that made their owners rich Celebrating their own skills and knowledge, slaves ridiculed the incompetence of their owners and of others who lorded over them Speaking for his fellow slaves, Northup condemns the plantation not only as an exemplar of cruelty but also as a model of inefficiency By relying on the lash rather than on positive incentives, the plantation regime could never match the productivity and profitability of free labor Northup has nothing but contempt for his owners work ethic and their ignorance of what presumably was their main business.Northup liked nothing better than winning the war of wits with his owners His diverse experience as a farmer, rafter, railroad man, and musician armed him against the torrent of mean spirited slights that owners poured down on slaves Few slaves wielded their workplace skills better His abilities gained for him the respect of his fellow slaves and even, however grudgingly, of his owners They also allowed him to advance in the plantation hierarchy and secured him, as he says with not a little sarcasm, the distinguished honor of carrying a drivers whip.13As Northup well understood, his elevation was a mixed blessing Caught between his fellow slaves and his owner, he was placed in an uncomfortable and even dangerous position He notes that when some slaves assumed that position, they gloried in their privileged rank To win their owners approval and perhaps additional privileges, they did their owners bidding, at times with a maniacal enthusiasm For Northup, there is never any doubt where his loyalty stands Forced to discipline his fellow slaves, he learns to handle the whip with marvelous dexterity and precision, throwing the lash within a hairs breadth of the back, the ear, the nose, without, however, touching either of them In this carefully choreographed collaboration, the purported victim of Northups whip would squirm and screech as if in agony, although not one of them had in fact beengrazed.14Northups perch in the plantation hierarchy gave him a full view of the plantation as both an economic enterprise and a community He was appalled by the abuse he and his fellow slaves endured, and also by the tangled, miserable society it created Slavery brutalized the humane and finer feelings among the best of men and women and spurred even greater excesses among the worst.15Yet Northup avoids stereotyping all slave masters as unmitigated brutes, distinguishing the kind, noble, candid, Christian William FordNorthups first ownerfrom the malignant tyrant John Tibeats and the sadistic Edwin Epps.16 Such distinctions may add credibility to Twelve Years a Slave, but they are not merely a literary device Northups depictions of his fellow slaves are equally textured Slaves are sensible or shallow, generous or selfish, vain or self effacing, honest or deceitful Some are brave, others cowardly These attributes express themselves in a variety of ways For Northup, there is no single slave experience, and he tells his fellow slaves stories with compassion and insight, never allowing their shared condition or his deep sympathy to affect his judgment The result is a complex narrative Each of his fellow slaves has a different story to tell, and Northup uses their diverse experiences to illustrate the range of slaverys effects on black people He understands the essential truth that while slavery may define black people, it is not who they are.For all its insights into the nature of slave society in the plantation South, Twelve Years a Slave is ultimately Northups story the autobiography of a man whose life was ripped from him and who struggled valiantly to get it back During his years as a slave, Northup continued to search for a way to regain his freedom There was not a day, Northup recalls, throughout the ten years I belonged to Epps that I did not consult with myself upon the prospect of escape.17 Several times he believed he had found a route to freedom, but events conspired to frustrate each one, and on at least one occasion his failure nearly had catastrophic consequences If Frederick Douglass demonstrated how one could board a train in Balti as a slave and disembark in Philadelphia as a free man, and Henry Box Brown showed how one could mail himself from slavery in Richmond to freedom in the North, Northup reveals the near impossibility of successful flight from the Southern interior The seeming insuperability of escape wore on him If the hope of freedom never left his mind, the grim possibility he would spend the rest of his days as a slave loomed ever larger as his years in bondage accumulated.After than a decade of enslavement, another opportunity arose Northups owner hired Samuel Bass, a Canadian born itinerant carpenter, to renovate the main plantation house, and Northup was assigned to assist him Bass was unorthodox in his opinions and shared them freely with anyone who would listen, welcoming argument seemingly for arguments sake Perhaps because of his Canadian birth, itinerant status, and love of disputation, Bass was tolerated in a society that rarely brooked heterodoxy When Northup overheard Bass openly propounding his opposition to slavery, he took a chance Ever so cautiously, he dropped clues to his life in freedom, mentioning his travels in Canada and other places a Southern slave could not possibly visit As Basss curiosity grew, Northup told his story in full At first Bass was skeptical, but Northups evidence was convincing Outraged by the injustice, Bass agreed to help regain Northups freedom by mailing a series of letters to Northups former employers and patrons in the North Eventually, although hardly directly, the letters reached their intended destinations, setting in motion events that would at last secure Northup his liberty.In January 1853, Northup was, once again, a free man He celebrated with his family and friends, some of whom he did not even know he had His experience in slavery became national news, as abolitionists publicized it widely They encouraged him to write an account of his years in bondage Promoted by the likes of Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, and Harriet Beecher Stowe, Northups book quickly became something of a best seller, going through a half dozen printings The sales allowed Northup and his family to enjoy a modest prosperity, and, for a short time, Northup became a leading face of the movement against slavery He brought his kidnappers to trial, but the court hearings became twisted in delays, and they wriggled free.Northups moment of fame faded over time, but Twelve Years a Slave became a classic account of slavery written from the inside In 1984, the great photographer Gordon Parks made the movie Solomon Northups Odyssey, and at the beginning of the twenty first century another movie of Northups life is in the offing The city of Saratoga, New York, around which Northup spent much of his life in freedom, celebrates Solomon Northup Day every year on the third Saturday in July, and Twelve Years a Slave is regularly assigned in classes in American history More than a century and a half after its publication, it continues to be read as an essential source for understanding the institution of chattel bondage and its devastating effects on the men and women who lived it.IRA BERLIN1 The text reprinted here is the original and authoritative 1853 edition published by Derby and Miller in Auburn, New York.2 Frederick Douglasss Newspaper, September 9, 1853.3 Northup, 23 This and other references to Northup correspond to the page numbers in this edition 4 Northup, 117.5 Northup, 27.6 Northup, 111.7 Northup, 6.8 Northup, 7.9 Northup, 12728, 143.10 Northup, 110.11 Northup, 112.12 Northup, 119, 99.13 Northup, 149.14 Northup, 149.15 Northup, 135.16 Northup, 57, 77.17 Northup, 159.Suggestions for Further ReadingA good overview of African American slavery in the United States can be found in Ira Berlins Generations of Captivity A History of African American Slaves Cambridge, MA Belknap Press, 2003.Joe Gray Taylors Negro Slavery in Louisiana Baton Rouge, LA Louisiana Historical Association, 1963 is woefully dated, but good studies of portions of the history of African American bondage in Louisiana can be found in Adam Rothmans Slave Country American Expansion and the Origins of the Deep South Cambridge, MA Harvard University Press, 2005 and Richard Folletts The Sugar Masters Planters and Slaves in Louisianas Cane World, 18201860 Baton Rouge, LA Louisiana State University Press, 2005.Two excellent studies of black life in the North are Leon F Litwacks North of Slavery The Negro in the Free States, 17901860 Chicago University of Chicago Press, 1960 and James O and Lois E Hortons In Hope of Liberty Culture, Community, and Protest Among Northern Free Blacks, 17001860 New York Oxford University Press, 1997 More specifically, the experience of free blacks in New York is chronicled by Graham R Hodges in Root and Branch African Americans in New York and East Jersey, 16131863 Chapel Hill, NC University of North Carolina Press, 1999.Kidnapping, which was an omnipresent danger to black people in freedom, is addressed in Carol Wilsons Freedom at Risk The Kidnapping of Free Blacks in America, 17801865 Lexington, KY University Press of Kentucky, 1994.Northup was just one of hundreds of escaped slaves who told their stories, a genre discussed and analyzed in Charles T Davis and Henry Louis Gates Jr.s The Slaves Narrative New York Oxford University Press, 1985.Little has been directly written on Northup, but see Sam Worley, Solomon Northup and the Sly Philosophy of the Slave Pen, Callaloo 20, 1997 24359.For sheer drama, few accounts of slavery match Solomon Northup s tale of abduction from freedom and forcible enslavement Ira Berlin, from the Introduction When I read Twelve Years a Slave for the first time, it was like the first time I read Anne Frank s diary And I wondered to myself, Why isn t this book on everyone s bookshelf For me, it s a classic It should be in every school Steve McQueen, director of the film adaptation of Twelve Years a Slave, in Entertainment Weekly Frightening, gripping and inspiring Northup s story seems almost biblical, structured as it is as a descent and resurrection narrative of a protagonist who, like Christ, was 33 at the time of his abduction Northup reminds us of the fragile nature of freedom in any human society and the harsh reality that whatever legal boundaries existed between so called free states and slave states in 1841, no black man, woman or child was permanently safe Henry Louis Gates, Jr., The Root A moving, vital testament to one of slavery s many thousands gone who retained his humanity in the bowels of degradation It is also a chilling insight into the peculiar institution Saturday Review Twelve Years of Turbulence The Inside Story American Twelve Airlines Battle for Survival Gary Kennedy, Roger Staubach, Terry Maxon on FREE shipping qualifying offers inside story crisis and turmoil at during the twelve years following terrorist attacks In Thousand Indians in Maine Bruce J documents generations Native peoples who millennia have moved through eventually settled along rocky coast, rivers, lakes, valleys, mountains a region now known as Arriving first to this area were Paleo Indian peoples, followed by maritime hunters, immigrants, then revival cultures Solomon Northup Slave Narrative ofSolomon slave narrative Solomon Northup, citizen New York, kidnapped Washington City , rescued b I m Old What is This Know Your Meme Meme Status Confirmed Year Origin chan Tags flonty, chan, youtube, bbc, attack, catchphrase, i twelve, raid, what this, old, am reaction 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thousands independent professional investors worldwide help make better informed decisions IMDb Directed Steve McQueen With Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Kenneth Williams, Fassbender, Brad Pitt antebellum United States, upstate abducted Box Office Mojo Dec summary box office results, charts release information related links Wikipdia Pour de dtails, voir Fiche technique et Distribution typographi ou Esclave pendant douze ans au Qubec est un drame historique britannico amricain produit ralis par sorti en Il agit l adaptation autobiographie Douze d esclavage il interprt Monkeys Daily Script Movie Scripts TWELVE MONKEYS An screenplay David Peoples Janet Inspired LA JETEE, Chris Marker Film Production Draft June FADE IN INT CONCOURSE AIRPORT TER Nigeria homophobic country world, according poll, which found percent citizens think society should accept homosexuality laws reflect Same sex comment meme post deemed outlandish, such x rated media It rare movie lives its hype, even rarer hype 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details being tricked go where he Deep SouthHe bondage Louisiana before secretly get Tie Read Excerpt PENGUIN BOOKS SOLOMON NORTHUP Shortly after escape, published memoirs great acclaim brought legal action against True Real Edwin Epps researching story, we discovered married Anne Hampton Christmas Day, Unlike movie, they had three children together, two Their daughter Margaret Alonzo portrayed Campus Location Details LSU Alexandria Constructed Epps family, single Creole cottage originally located Bayou Boeuf near Holmesville Avoyelles Parish Chiwetel Ejiofor Actor English actor renowned portrayal received Golden Globe nominations, BAFTA Browse By Author N Project Gutenberg ebooks online Did you know can us produce proof reading just page day Go Distributed Proofreaders Ruse Define Ruse Dictionary definition, trick, stratagem, artifice See Livraria Cultura Livros, Filmes, Msica, TVs, Smartphones O maior acervo do mercado, com melhores selees livros, Blu Rays, DVDs, CDs, LPs, Games, eBooks, AudioBooks, eventos muito mais Biography Facts Britannica farmer, laborer, musician whose experience book adapted award Learn about life article Northup African Saratoga Springs, forced Slave noted having been enticed job offer Facts, Childhood, Family Life birth date has debated but large chunk historians believe it th July while many claim c abolitionist primary author SlaveA freed woman colorA farmer violinist, landowner Hebron, YorkIn offered traveling went TOP QUOTES BY Z Quotes Wilson Citizen Kidnapped Rescued Cotton Plantation Near Red River, p Cultural Significance Drugged beaten, illegally hometown Springs woke pen sadistically remade North South Questioning fate Watch videoT welve describes how capture, ended working cotton fields Character Analysis protagonist memoir, where, start pleasant wife, Anne, children, Elizabeth, Margaret, AlonzoHe community excellent fiddle player, man, hard worker Who History Hit slavery, legally granted January entitled Slave, person 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    • Format Kindle
    • 249 pages
    • Twelve Years a Slave (AmazonClassics Edition) (English Edition)
    • Solomon Northup
    • Anglais
    • 2016-02-22T17:13+02:00