‘Twelve Years A Slave’ by Joe McVeigh

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I watched the film ‘Twelve Years a Slave’ on TV last night or should I say I watched as much of it as I could. It is a shocking film especially the scenes where the slaves were beaten. It is a disturbing film as it dramatises very starkly the cruel life of the slaves –men and women- in the southern states of the USA during the 1840s. The film is based on a memoir written by one slave, Solomon Northup, who was kidnapped in Washington DC in 1841 and sold into slavery to work on a plantation in Louisiana. He remained there for 12 years until he was released in 1853 by a sheriff acting on behalf of an abolitionist from his home town who had heard about his enslavement. The ending shows him reunited with his own family back in New York state.

The film depicts slavery and racism in all its dreadful brutality. The life of luxury of the Christian slave-owners is in stark contrast to the life of suffering of the African-American slaves, many of whom had another understanding of the Bible and expressed their faith in their songs.

Racists believe they are better than others because they believe the system favours them above all others. They believe they are justified in the Bible. They are supremacists – ‘God’s chosen people.’ African -Americans were considered less than human. It is clear in this film that slaves were considered as ‘property’- not human beings. They were sold like animals. Those white men who owned slaves insisted on being called ‘master.’ Slaves were regarded as belonging to an inferior ‘race’. Little wonder they could be abused and beaten at will. Racism has caused much suffering in our world and the shocking thing is that the Bible was used to justify slavery and the beating and killing of slaves.

Irish emigrants have also experienced racism of a kind when they went to England and the USA looking for a new life. In some places they were treated well: in other places they were treated very badly. I do not know that they experienced anything like the cruelty inflicted on the African-Americans. The British have engaged in racism against the Irish for centuries, often treating them as less than human. This became more pronounced during the era of QueenVictoria. English cartoonists from the 1860s onwards changed from presenting the stereotype Paddy as a drunken harmless peasant to a dangerous ape-man.

It is sad and regrettable to hear that some of our Irish emigrants and Irish-Americans in the USA are now some of the most racist people you could meet. In America they are against the African -Americans and the South and Central Americans. I know many Irish who voted for Trump who played the racist card during his campaign to become president.

Films like ‘Twelve Years a Slave’ remind us about the horrors of racism and slavery and the abuse of the Christian religion to justify and sanction it. We all need reminding that we belong to One race – the Human Race, even though Donald Trump constantly refers to the ‘different races’ in America.

Each parish in Ireland should be working to end racism. Racism should never be tolerated. “There will be a day of reckoning yet” as one conscientious white man said to the slave owner, warning him that he would eventually pay for his cruelty and racist attitudes and cruel actions. Slavery still exists in our world and so does racism. The United Nations must do more to ensure that the fight against these evils is stepped up especially as Mr Trump takes over in the USA.

(The film, “Twelve Years a Slave” was released in 2013 to critical acclaim. It won many awards. The lead actor is Chiwetel Ejiofor and the cruel slave owner is acted by Michael Fassbender.  The film was produced by Steve McQueen who produced Hunger.)

 

36 Responses to ‘Twelve Years A Slave’ by Joe McVeigh

  1. Scott Rutherford January 5, 2017 at 3:11 pm #

    It’s a great film indeed, although I also found it slightly uncomfortable viewing also due to the graphic nature but I suppose that’s the point, to shock us with the reality of slavery.

    I join with you in your plea to end racism joe and also to end sectarianism.

    These warped ideals are bred into children early and the only way to try and break them down is to expose them to different people from the”other” side as soon as possible.

    This is why I support all attempts to integrate our society and more specifically to integrate education.

    • jessica January 7, 2017 at 9:15 am #

      “This is why I support all attempts to integrate our society and more specifically to integrate education.”

      Integrate our society over 32 counties or 6 Scott?

  2. PaulG January 5, 2017 at 6:13 pm #

    You touch on an important distinction.
    In my opinion, ‘Racist’ is a lazy and abused word which liberals and anti-Nationalists use to Tar all of their opponents and to shout down any logical opposition. Indeed the more logical the opposition the greater the need for demonising labels to be hurled at those who dare to differ.

    In response to the Religiously and Racially motivated Genocidal campaigns committed by the English against the Irish in the 1590’s, 1650’s and 1840’s and the other litany of murders, discrimination,abuses and oppression, I regard myself pro ‘the Irish race’ (whatever mix of Celts and others that we are). I could therefore be described as a Racist because I would like to discriminate in favour of my own people – who are essentially distant extensions of my family.

    Naturally, I think that Africans, Chinese and even the English should look out for their own people, their own countrymen, their own race. Isn’t the advancement and protection of ones own people, one of the primary reasons in the establishment of many Countries in the first place.

    For me, it is ‘Supremacism’ that should be separated and differentiated from ‘Racism’ as the evil which we should reject and fear, for it was Supremacism which drove the Nazi’s and the Cromwellian Puritans, as well as most of the Religiously inspired wars and massacres.

    By the way, you say you don’t know if the Irish experienced anything like the African Slaves did. The 50,000 Irish deported to the West Indies following Cromwells victory (mostly widows and children of Irish soldiers) were sold into Slavery and prostitution in the West Indies, usually worked to or beaten to death. 100,000 Irish children were to follow soon after. As the spoils of war they were 10% of the price of African Slaves who started coming soon after, so they were cheap to kill and were often tortured, as part of their punishment for the Rebellion and for their allegiance to the Anti-Christ (Pope). All the time being sunburnt, hence the ‘Redleg’ label, the 400 survivors carry in Barbados.
    In some ways they had it worse that the Africans (1/3 of their people having been wiped out by Cromwell before their Slavery began) in other ways it was a little easier.

    There’s an Academic of sorts in Limerick University, who claims to have debunked Irish Slavery as a Myth, because the English registered them as ‘Indentured Servants’ who could technically be freed in the unlikely event they survived that long. Also their children wouldn’t be slaves, but the Slave owners got round that by breeding the Irish girls with African slaves so that the children would remain slaves (Also sorted out the sunburn issue). This Academic’s agenda is as a promoter of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign, which is fair enough, except when you then try to deny the truth of the suffering of those who endured ‘Ireland’s Holocaust’.

    Seemingly, the ‘denier’s’ are trying to counter some southern US whites, who claim to be Irish survivors of slavery in Carolina (at the time counted as part of the west indies) and say that they got over it so the black population need to get over it too. Others think the Blacks and the Irish should both be entitled to reparations. They may well be decendents of the previous waves of Ulster Scots instead, but there may be a point there.

    Regrettably, many US websites are now ‘exposing’ the ‘Myth of Irish Slavery’ citing the Limerick Historian (even though his qualifications seem to be as a Librarian).

    Either way, the harsh lesson of Brexit and Trump, is that pulling the wool over the eyes of the hard pressed working and coping classes only results in an unfocussed backlash down the line.

    This may be ‘an inconvenient truth’ for the liberal elites and the anti-nationalists but it is surely better to have the truth out there and to deal with it.

    If we haven’t done anything yet to ease the lives of the 400 Redlegs (the poorest of the poor) marooned on the bad end of a 40 mile long island, surviving on scrub land and prostitution to the wealthier Black men from the other end, then the question I think Irish people should be asking is: When are we going bring the Redlegs of Barbados and the part Irish of Monserrat etc. home ?

    • MT January 6, 2017 at 9:31 pm #

      This is shocking. The ‘white slavery’ myth, promoted by white supremacists in the US, now being peddled on Jude’s website.

      • PaulG January 7, 2017 at 11:11 am #

        MT,
        Apologies for shocking you. I was quite shocked myself while reading up on the crimes against humanity suffered by the Irish population in the 16th and 17th centuries, enslavement not being the worst of them.

        Disregarding whichever side of any issue, which dangerous supremacists choose, it is undeniable that there have been millions of European slaves before and throughout Roman and medieval times even up to the recent case of Irish Travellers enslaving homeless men in England.

        Is it only the Irish transported to the West Indies & Carolina by the English, whose slavery you deny, or is it all of the above?

        If it is only the 17th Century Irish, and if that is not solely a knee jerk reaction to whatever race debate is going on in the US, then state (or peddle as you would say) your case.

        • MT January 7, 2017 at 11:19 am #

          There were no white slaves in the Caribbean or American colonies. They were indentured labourers.

          • PaulG January 7, 2017 at 12:07 pm #

            I’ve no doubt here were genuine Indentured Servants probably tradesmen and house staff etc. from England, who willingly signed up for what would still have been quite a tough contract.

            I wouldn’t think there were too many pasty white Europeans volunteering to cut cane in the field in the scorching sun and in fear of the masters whip.

            It is even more unlikely that anyone would volunteer, if their masters were to be their conquerors and oppressors who regarded them as traitors to the crown and devil worshipers and had just wiped out a third of the Irish population.

            Only someone who completely ignored any context could try to stretch credibility that far.

            You may choose to believe the enslavers version of history, that these poor wretches were volunteers (but still needed to be branded!) but you’ll need to take the blinkers off and come up with a more plausible story if you want to convince anyone else.

          • MT January 7, 2017 at 12:14 pm #

            Interesting that you appear to acknowledge that they were indentured labourers rather than slaves and only challenge the assumed implication that they were volunteers.

            I never said, however, that they were all volunteers.

          • PaulG January 7, 2017 at 12:49 pm #

            I don’t acknowledge that they were Indentured Servants, only that the English may have recorded them as such. Probably not through any shame – probably only because they hadn’t quite set up the African slave system yet.
            They weren’t criminals, most of them weren’t prisoners of war (though many families of rebels) yet their tormentors felt they had to be labelled as something and ‘Indentured Servant’ was an existing term and system.

            I am not interested what the 17th Century English colonialists chose to call them, I am interested in actual conditions they suffered and how we should accurately describe their ordeal today.

          • MT January 7, 2017 at 1:34 pm #

            “I don’t acknowledge that they were Indentured Servants, only that the English may have recorded them as such.”

            Why do you not acknowledge this?

          • PaulG January 7, 2017 at 4:35 pm #

            Because their treatment was the treatment endured by slaves, not by people with freedom to choose.
            If you are worked to death in a field, with a slave owner torturing you if you try to escape, – then you are a slave, regardless of what your slave owner calls you – even if you thought you weren’t going to be a slave – even if the people who sold you said you weren’t to be a slave, even if you’re told you will be freed one day, – you’re still a slave.
            That seems pretty obvious.

          • MT January 7, 2017 at 4:46 pm #

            “Because their treatment was the treatment endured by slaves, not by people with freedom to choose.
            If you are worked to death in a field, with a slave owner torturing you if you try to escape, – then you are a slave, regardless of what your slave owner calls you – even if you thought you weren’t going to be a slave – even if the people who sold you said you weren’t to be a slave, even if you’re told you will be freed one day, – you’re still a slave.
            That seems pretty obvious.”

            So you’re acknowledging they weren’t slaves, but rather that they where treated the same as slaves.

            What is your evidence that they were treated the same as slaves?

          • PaulG January 8, 2017 at 6:45 pm #

            No I did not acknowledge that. I say they WERE slaves.
            If they were treated as slaves and prevented from escaping, then they were slaves.

            The evidence is in the Court records, the shipping documents, the survivors accounts, the accounts of witness’s and the records of the Slave traders and buyers.

            You offer no evidence, not even an argument, merely faux outrage and a clumsy, unedifying attempt to muddy the waters by misinterpreting clear statements.

            I would be surprised if you’ve succeeded in fooling or misdirecting anybody.

          • MT January 8, 2017 at 7:23 pm #

            “No I did not acknowledge that. I say they WERE slaves.
            If they were treated as slaves and prevented from escaping, then they were slaves.”

            Not according to the general understanding of slavery, under which slaves are the property of their owners for life, and their offspring too, born into slavery.

            “The evidence is in the Court records, the shipping documents, the survivors accounts, the accounts of witness’s and the records of the Slave traders and buyers.”

            Shipping documents described how people were treated after they arrived? That’s odd. Have you a reference for this?

            Also references for the court records, survivors [sic] accounts, witness’s [sic] accounts and slave traders and buyers’ records?

            “You offer no evidence, not even an argument, merely faux outrage and a clumsy, unedifying attempt to muddy the waters by misinterpreting clear statements.”

            Offer no evidence for what? I’m not the one making dubious claims.

          • PaulG January 8, 2017 at 10:11 pm #

            Now you’re just making stuff up.

            Since when have you been nominated the one to define the ‘general understanding of slavery’. You won’t find any requirement for the offspring to have been made slaves in any of the recent British court convictions for slavery.

            Anyway, if you take the time to properly read what I have already written you will notice that the method by which the Irish women’s children were to be made slaves, is already provided.

          • MT January 9, 2017 at 9:18 am #

            I note your failure to point to any credible evidence to support your claims.

          • PaulG January 9, 2017 at 9:50 am #

            There are some books on the subject. ‘To Hell or Barbados’ by Sean O’Callaghan is one you might try, if you wish to enlighten yourself.

          • MT January 9, 2017 at 12:09 pm #

            That book is one of the mainstays of the Irish slaves myth. It is ahistorical, based on errors and deceptions, sometimes passing off descriptions of the treatment of black slaves as descriptions of the treatment of Irish indentured servants. That’s the book that began the ‘forced breeding’ myth.

            I meant evidence from reputable scholars.

          • PaulG January 9, 2017 at 5:11 pm #

            “Ahistorical, based on errors and deceptions”, according to which ‘reputable scholar’?
            Not the ‘Limerick Librarian’ I hope. I’ve read his arguments and found them to fly in the face of any logic.
            There are other books on the subject, which you can also choose.

            As for the forced breeding myth, you’ll need to specify exactly what type you are referring to.
            Could that be the master raping or taking advantage of a servant (or a slave). There was certainly plenty of that everywhere. Could it be slaveowners selecting the biggest strongest slaves to impregnate several of the slave girls. In purely economic terms that would make sense so I’m sure there was some of that too.
            Would these ‘chosen by God’ supremacists have baulked at the notion of forcing the treasonous, devil worshipping Irish women to mate with African slaves when the Owners would benefit from the offspring being generational slaves with sun resistant skin?
            It would make so much sense for them, that it seems completely illogical to think that didn’t happen. So much so, that the burden of proof must rest on those who say it didn’t happen.

          • MT January 9, 2017 at 5:50 pm #

            Yes, O’Hare has debunked all this. And it’s not taken seriously by any reputable historians.

          • PaulG January 10, 2017 at 9:23 am #

            His name is not O’Hare. No matter, his professed debunking is so flawed that people who read it on the Journal commented and voted against his claims by about 500 to 30.

            ‘If it walks like a duck’ probably being the most succinct rejection that I recall.

            Presumably these ‘reputable historians’ are the one who’s agenda aligns with your own. They wouldn’t happen to be part of the anti-nationalist revisionist bloc of historians too, by any chance.

          • MT January 10, 2017 at 9:29 am #

            “His name is not O’Hare. No matter, his professed debunking is so flawed that people who read it on the Journal commented and voted against his claims by about 500 to 30.”

            It isn’t flawed and a load of American racist and extreme Irish nationalist Internet trolls ‘voting’ against him doesn’t make it flawed.

            “Presumably these ‘reputable historians’ are the one who’s agenda aligns with your own. They wouldn’t happen to be part of the anti-nationalist revisionist bloc of historians too, by any chance.”

            Any reputable historians of the period, from anywhere in the world.

          • PaulG January 10, 2017 at 3:56 pm #

            You’re using upside down logic again.
            Their voting didn’t make it flawed, it was the flaws which made them vote.
            Btw, I read all of their more than 100 comments and didn’t see anything to make me think that any of them were American racists or Irish republicans (if that is your meaning of extreme Irish nationalists).

            We must surely be in the company of a most eminent historian, if you are familiar with the opinions of ALL of the ‘reputable historians’ of the period.
            Unless of course you only regard the Limerick Librarian as the sole ‘reputable historian’ of the period.

          • MT January 10, 2017 at 4:48 pm #

            We must surely be in the company of a most eminent historian, if you are familiar with the opinions of ALL of the ‘reputable historians’ of the period.
            Unless of course you only regard the Limerick Librarian as the sole ‘reputable historian’ of the period.

            Hogan has published articles demonstrating with reference to the primary sources how O’Callaghan and others have (possibly deliberately) misinterpreted and misrepresented the evidence. Hogan is just as qualified as O’Callaghan, whom you cite, or Jordan and Walsh.

            Others peddling the Irish slaves myth include Michael Hoffman, a Holocaust denier, so you’re nice company.

          • PaulG January 10, 2017 at 9:40 pm #

            Hogan and O’Callaghan may both be enthusiastic amateur historians but O’Callaghan was likely just trying to shed light on a forgotten part of the Cromwellian Holocaust of the Irish, to the best of his ability.
            In contrast, Hogan has set out to do a hatchet job, doing the Brits dirty work and burying truth with speculation, because it could be used to undermine the Black Lives Matter movement. That is extraordinarily cynical, largely dependent on a narrow definition of slavery (your type is not the same as my type so therefore your type is a myth!) and in my opinion, counter productive.

            Instead of emphasising a common past experience with Blacks in American in order to encourage a common cause with Irish Americans, he is in danger of making ‘Black Lives Matter’ synonomous with ‘Irish Lives Don’t Matter’.

            As for Michael Hoffman, I’ve never heard of him. If some looney says the Earth revolves around the Sun, that doesn’t make me think that it doesn’t or infer that I endorse whatever else is in his head.
            While being very critical of Israels crimes against the Palestinian people, I wouldn’t dream of denying any aspect of the Jewish Holocaust at the hands of Aryan supremacists. Hoffman, like you and Hogan, acknowledges one Holocaust and denies another, which selective denying appears to me, to put you in dubious company.

          • MT January 11, 2017 at 2:09 pm #

            “Hogan and O’Callaghan may both be enthusiastic amateur historians but O’Callaghan was likely just trying to shed light on a forgotten part of the Cromwellian Holocaust of the Irish, to the best of his ability.”

            In doing so he made some serious errors.

            “In contrast, Hogan has set out to do a hatchet job, doing the Brits dirty work and burying truth with speculation, because it could be used to undermine the Black Lives Matter movement. That is extraordinarily cynical, largely dependent on a narrow definition of slavery (your type is not the same as my type so therefore your type is a myth!) and in my opinion, counter productive.”

            No, Hogan set out to challenge the racist memes about Irish/white slaves, many of which are lies and misrepresentation, and some of which he traced back to exaggerations of O’Callaghan’s claims. That caused him to investigate the veracity of O’Callaghan’s work, in which he found serious flaws.

            You and other peddlers of the Irish slaves myth rely on a conflation of hereditary slavery with indentured servitude. They are not the same, notwithstanding the cruel treatment suffered by the latter.

            “Instead of emphasising a common past experience with Blacks in American in order to encourage a common cause with Irish Americans, he is in danger of making ‘Black Lives Matter’ synonomous with ‘Irish Lives Don’t Matter’.”

            What “cause” do Irish Americans have that is common with Black Lives Matter?

          • PaulG January 11, 2017 at 8:47 pm #

            As I’ve pointed out, in 1652 the Irish POWs and their families may have been labelled by their enemy as ‘Indentured Servants’ but that is not what they experienced. Their fate was indeed a form of slavery. That would have been almost the norm for the vanquished in early history so it is bizarre that you cannot grasp this concept.
            If you don’t get it this time, i won’t be repeating myself.

            A case of there being none so blind as those who will not see, I suppose.

            You ask “What “cause” do Irish Americans have that is common with Black Lives Matter?”.

            The cause of Justice of course.

          • jessica January 11, 2017 at 8:52 pm #

            You are wasting your time with MT Paul.
            He is in a world of his own and his agenda is simply to frustrate and break up any debate on this site that highlights what is wrong with unionism.

            When he comes stuck, he simply copies and pastes what you have written in reverse, even if it makes totally no sense.

            He could well be the love child of Arlene Foster and Paul Givan

          • MT January 11, 2017 at 9:21 pm #

            “As I’ve pointed out, in 1652 the Irish POWs and their families may have been labelled by their enemy as ‘Indentured Servants’ but that is not what they experienced. Their fate was indeed a form of slavery. That would have been almost the norm for the vanquished in early history so it is bizarre that you cannot grasp this concept.
            If you don’t get it this time, i won’t be repeating myself.”

            You’ve just reinforced the point. No matter that we might consider, from today’s perspective particularly, indentured servitude to be a form of slavery, it still wasn’t the same, nor as bad, as hereditary slavery.

            “You ask “What “cause” do Irish Americans have that is common with Black Lives Matter?”.The cause of Justice of course.”

            What cause of justice are Irish Americans pursuing? I’m unaware of this, as are my Irish American friends in Pennsylvania.

          • PaulG January 12, 2017 at 9:56 pm #

            If I’ve just reinforced the point, then I think that would be my point you refer to and not yours.

            You then go on to accept that from today’s perspective, Indentured Servitude is a form of slavery, which I’m sure many left leaning, class warriors would argue, but it is not the case that I have made.

            I have said that Cromwell’s prisoners were treated as slaves or worse, because they were not treated as the Indentured Servants they had been labelled as.

            It was never the exact same as the African Slave experience, but I would argue that for the first wave of POW’s and their families it was actually worse because 1/3 rd of their people had just been slaughtered or starved to death, their skin would burn, and most all they were there to be punished to death for their treason and heresy, much as the Japanese and Russians did with POW ‘s in WW2, with the added benefit of free, though short lived labour, for the owners.

            Later groups not linked with the perceived treason would not have been treated quite so harshly and probably a bit better than the African slaves who had by then begun arriving.

            Later still, Irish registered as Indentured Servants would have been treated as such, the same as English Indentured Servants, and they would not be regarded as slaves even by today’s standards.

            Regarding Justice, most people in a functioning society have a desire and interest in knowing that justice will be done and seeing it done. People whose relatives and recent ancestors have suffered injustice tend to have an even stronger desire for it, so many Catholic Irish Americans will be sympathetic to those who suffer injustice – especially if it is a shared experience.

          • MT January 13, 2017 at 9:28 am #

            “If I’ve just reinforced the point, then I think that would be my point you refer to and not yours.”

            No. You’ve reinforced the point that you’re conflating hereditary slavery and indentures servitude by using the same name to describe both. And further than that, you’re also trying to argue that the latter was worse than the former. This is unhistorical.

            “It was never the exact same as the African Slave experience, but I would argue that for the first wave of POW’s and their families it was actually worse because 1/3 rd of their people had just been slaughtered or starved to death, their skin would burn, and most all they were there to be punished to death for their treason and heresy, much as the Japanese and Russians did with POW ‘s in WW2, with the added benefit of free, though short lived labour, for the owners.”

            You might argue that but there’s no evidence to support it.

            “Later groups not linked with the perceived treason would not have been treated quite so harshly and probably a bit better than the African slaves who had by then begun arLater still, Irish registered as Indentured Servants would have been treated as such, the same as English Indentured Servants, and they would not be regarded as slaves even by today’s standards.”

            This is progress.

            “Regarding Justice, most people in a functioning society have a desire and interest in knowing that justice will be done and seeing it done. People whose relatives and recent ancestors have suffered injustice tend to have an even stronger desire for it, so many Catholic Irish Americans will be sympathetic to those who suffer injustice – especially if it is a shared experience.”

            So there’s no particular Irish American “justice” issue.

            Out of interest, what motivates this competitive victimhood by association? Does it make those who engage in it feel virtuous if they believe supposed distant relatives were persecuted several centuries ago?

          • PaulG January 12, 2017 at 10:01 pm #

            Thanks Jessica,

            I’m inclined to agree with you.

            Arlene Foster and Paul Givan’s love child.. now there’s a scary thought.

            A bigoted eugenicists fantasy pairing !!

  3. Dominic Hendron January 5, 2017 at 11:00 pm #

    Where were you when Roots was being shown Joe

  4. Ryan January 6, 2017 at 12:48 am #

    I watched the film and read the book and finished it the end of 2015.

    There is many major differences between the book and the film.

    Edwin Epps, the slave owner (played by Irish Actor Michael Fassbender) was indeed a cruel man and a rapist but his wife, portrayed as extremely cruel in the film, was no such thing. She was very kind to all the slaves with the exception of Pats, the female slave often raped by Epps. She was cruel to Pats because she believed her to be seducing her husband.

    Another Slave owner, Master Ford, is portrayed as a decent but cowardly man in the film. Solomon Northup in the book has nothing but praise for this man. He even says in the book that the life of a slave would’ve been decent enough if every master was like Master Ford.

    Eliza, the black slave girl whose children is took away from her, comes to a very bad end. The book explains her background in more detail. She was a black slave who married her white master and both genuinely loved each other. They had a child, a half black and white daughter (seen in the film) who is described as being particularly beautiful. Eliza had a child to a black slave male previous to this (also seen in the film). Eliza lived a life of plenty with her husband, despite legally being a slave. Her life went downhill once her husband got into a lot of debt and agreed to sell his property (including Eliza and her children) to his son in law and his daughter from a previous marriage. He made his daughter swear to free Eliza and the children.

    Unfortunately Eliza was despised by her husbands daughter and ex wife. Eliza and her husband was tricked and lied to. Eliza was told to get ready and go into town with her children to collect her “freedom papers” (all freed slaves got those). She even dressed in her most expensive clothes for the occasion to celebrate. But instead Eliza and her children were being sold to slave traders. That is where the film picks up and shows Eliza in a cell with her children. Her husband tried looking for her but she was long gone by the time he realized his daughters/ex wife’s treachery. He also didn’t have the funds to buy them anyway.

    Eliza came to an extremely bad end. Her children, as seen in the film, was sold off and separated. Her daughter would’ve more likely have went on in future to marry a rich white man, being as she was so beautiful (even the film makes reference to this, she’s described as a “beauty” by the slave trader when master ford offers to buy her but is told he couldn’t afford her). Her son would’ve went on to do manual labour or some other job. Eliza never seen them again, no one knows what became of them.

    Eliza herself came down with serious depression. She refused to work. It was so bad even Master Ford sold her on but her new slave master wasn’t kind. He treated her brutally and whipped her badly for not working. Her master eventually gave up on her and refused to feed her. She depended on the charity of other slaves, most of whom ignored her sorrows. She was found dead not long after leaving Solomon on the floor of her hut.

    Indeed no one knows what became of Solomon Northup, he simply vanished. There are theories he was recaptured into slavery or that he left the country. There’s no evidence to say either is true. There is evidence Pats, Edwin Epps slave, was rescued by the Union Army during the American Civil War and freed.

    Slavery isn’t about White people enslaving Black people. Trying to portray it like that is uneducated and exposes a deep lack of understanding. The Atlantic Slave Trade could not have existed if it wasn’t for Blacks enslaving other Blacks. There’s no doubt whatsoever that Solomon Northup’s ancestors kept slaves. They all did it. Blacks sold other Blacks at the coasts, usually in return for guns and other equipment. White men could not even enter the African bush, their life expectancy if they did was just 9 months due to disease and attacks from animals/locals.

    The Arab Slave Trade was the biggest slave trade in History, it went on for over 1,000 years (some still say it goes on). Its estimated that over 50 million blacks were enslaved by Arabs (at a time when blacks would’ve numbered around 200 million in total) and millions of whites too. Indeed many Irish were enslaved by Arab sailors, the town of Baltimore in Cork was entirely carried off to the slave markets of Arabia. The same fate came to millions of English, Spanish, Italians, etc. Indeed some Americans were enslaved too. Its estimated that 80% of all black males were castrated and bleed to death due to the Arab belief that black males couldn’t control themselves sexually. Both White and Black women were often used as sex slaves.

    Islamic teaching clearly states Slavery, especially of non muslims, is permitted. Indeed Britain made slavery illegal (and spent over £2 million pounds to disrupt the Spanish Slave Trade) in 1804. Saudi Arabia made slavery illegal in 1962. Yes, 1962….Niger didn’t make slavery illegal until 2003….Mauritania made slavery illegal in 1982 but it didn’t become a punishable crime until 2007…..only 10 years ago…..

    These countries above are not white, Christian, European countries….

    There’s been a lot of talk if these anti-slavery laws are actually enforced in places like Saudi Arabia. Considering how they still like to behead and crucify people, yes crucify, I somehow doubt it.

    The Irish have been enslaved as cruelly as any African was. A read up of Oliver Cromwell and the thousands of Irish women and children he enslaved and sent to the America’s is just one example.

    • MT January 7, 2017 at 1:36 pm #

      “The Irish have been enslaved as cruelly as any African was.”

      Dear me. If you genuinely believe this, it is truly appalling.

      • Jude Collins January 10, 2017 at 4:31 pm #

        Mt, I’m puzzled as to why you come to a website where so many writers are, in your view, sub-standard in their knowledge and arguments. You’re not a masochist, are you?