12 Years A Slave

One of the less-discussed facts of slavery is that free blacks were at risk when travelling. The tale of Solomon Northup (whose autobiography I’ve added to the Library) is a prime example: Slave dealers coaxed the musician – a free black from New York – to DC under the pretense of arranging a concert, then kidnapped him and sold him South into slavery. Solomon was eventually freed when the governor of New York interceded on his behalf. One has to wonder how many blacks were imprisoned in this manner, and how few of them had the luck that Solomon had, to have been freed.

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