FILM: ’12 Years a Slave’ Illuminates the Honor and Necessity in Celebrating MLK Day


On this recognized day of tributes magnifying the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of nonviolence and justice, I also give thanks to Solomon Northup for reminding us of the extraordinary human spirit in the face of adversity and despair.

I’ll admit it. I’d never heard of Northup (or recall any history lessons on this man) until seeing the Oscar-nominated, critically acclaimed movie based on his detailed autobiography, Twelve Years a Slave: Narrative of a Citizen of New York, Solomon Northup, Kidnapped in Washington City in 1841, Rescued in 1853, from a Cotton Plantation near the Red River, in Louisiana.

I have nothing but praise for this film, but the book is highly recommended for anyone who knows how to read. Take a computer break, step away from the apps and spend a little time flipping through the actual printed page. If you look hard enough, you’ll discover that these compelling slave narratives reach every corner of the globe, touching every family in one way or another over so many lifetimes lost in history.

Had the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lived, we would be celebrating his 85th birthday this year. Instead, hatred and ignorance cut short his time on this planet. But, the message and dream he fought for so diligently continues to inspire and empower countless people. In this country, if you’re taking a day off from work or school because of the national holiday, use the time wisely and be sure to check out 12 Years a Slave. Never be silent about things that matter. Someone out there is listening.


12 Years a Slave:

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center):

MLK Jr. Day:

March on Washington 2013 article:


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