'12 Years a Slave' prompts effort to recognize efforts of Joseph Logsdon in reviving tale

Historians in the News
tags: slavery, historians, popular culture

With less than a month before the New Orleans-shot "12 Years a Slave" embarks on its theatrical release, there's already talk of a robust Oscar campaign for the film, which emerged from its debut at this month's Toronto International Film Festival as an early award-season front-runner. But that's not the only recently launched campaign tied to director Steve McQueen's historical drama.

Local academics are reaching out to local and national media members to ensure that former University of New Orleans historian Joseph Logsdon gets credit for his role in re-discovering the true story on which the film is based.

McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" is based on the 1853 autobiography of Solomon Northup, a free man of color who was kidnapped in 1841 and sold into slavery on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. He was later shipped to New Orleans, where he was bought at auction and pressed into slavery in Louisiana before his eventual rescue some 12 years later. Although it was widely circulated at the time, Northup's book eventually dropped out of the public consciousness until being rediscovered and republished in 1968....

Read entire article at NOLA.com

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