12 Years a Slave Earns Nine Oscar Nominations

12 Years A SlaveThe movie has been in limited release up til now, but I suspect that with Golden Globe Award for Best Drama and nine Oscar Nominations that this is going to change very soon. This is wonderful news for what is clearly the most important Hollywood movie about slavery to appear in decades. A number of my students have seen the film and they all come back wanting to talk about it. Even given the nature of the violence depicted in this film, I have no doubt that 12 Years a Slave will eventually be used in classrooms across the country. It already is through the textbooks, documents, and other primary sources that history teachers utilize

On a related note, I highly recommend checking out NPR’s ongoing series of conversations from their Race Card Project. I’ve caught most of them on my way to work in the morning. Yesterday I used this discussion at the beginning of my Civil War Memory class on the subject of antebellum slavery.

Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth

“Levin’s study is the first of its kind to blueprint and then debunk the mythology of enslaved African Americans who allegedly served voluntarily in behalf of the Confederacy.”–Journal of Southern History

Purchase your copy today!

6 comments… add one
  • Chris Evans Jan 20, 2014 @ 14:03

    I don’t know if it has been mentioned before but there are some pretty good sites with History vs Hollywood info:




  • Brooks D. Simpson Jan 17, 2014 @ 8:53

    Coming from a self-professed expert on black Confederates and blog traffic, I find this sudden interest in actual evidence amusing.

  • BorderRuffian Jan 17, 2014 @ 5:30

    Strange how those who are (supposedly) so punctilious about facts…will embrace something that has more holes than facts.

    Yes, Solomon Northrup was kidnapped in 1841, sold into slavery and regained his freedom in 1853. There’s plenty of evidence to support that. Not much to support what (supposedly) happened between 1841 and 1853.

    • Kevin Levin Jan 17, 2014 @ 5:37

      I guess you are looking for corroboration from a slaveowner or another slave. Why am I not surprised that you would dismiss Northup’s account so easily. It’s as if your response reflects some belief that his experience reflects poorly on you.

  • Patrick Young Jan 16, 2014 @ 20:27

    Over the last week, I’ve been involved in several online discussions of the film with Civil War history enthusiasts. Quite a few were unaware of the film until it won the Golden Globe.

  • Patrick Young Jan 16, 2014 @ 18:18

    A very good film. Of course, what is sometimes missed is the immigrant angle. The catalysts of emancipation in 12 and Django are immigrants. Few reviews note this, even though many compare the films.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *