“12 Years a Slave” Distributed to U.S. Public High Schools
This educational initiative was the brainchild of director Steve McQueen and Montel Williams, and now “12 Years a Slave” educator toolkits are available to all public high school teachers timed to the 2014-15 school year. Educators who gain permission to teach “12 Years a Slave” to their students will receive a free kit which includes: a DVD copy of the film (edited version with disclaimer/parental consent requested); a paperback copy of the Penguin book; the “12 Years a Slave” printed study guide; and a letter from Steve McQueen. Any U.S. public high school teacher with permission to add this to the high school curriculum may go to www.12yearsaslave.com and click on the button for teachers to opt in and request an educators’ toolkit for their school.
“I am thrilled that my dream of having ‘12 Years a Slave’ available to high school students is finally a reality. Solomon Northup’s powerful story needs to be shared and remembered for generations to come. This is a wonderful opportunity for our youth to learn about the past.”
“When I first saw the film, it was clear that it could be a teaching tool in high schools. I see it as a way for teachers to make the issue of slavery, the brutal truths of which are all too common in the world today in some places. Slavery is a worldwide problem and even in the U.S. children are abducted and sold into slavery. This film vividly conveys the evils of slavery. By giving teachers one more tool to start discussions and through education and awareness our kids can dream big about a brighter future for the world,” commented Montel Williams, TV personality.
“12 Years a Slave,” winner of Best Motion Picture of the Year, is a film that depicts the harrowing tale of a New York State-born free black man kidnapped in Washington, D.C. in 1841 and sold into slavery. This groundbreaking film proceeded to win over 132 awards this past year.
A launch event for this educational initiative has been planned in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act on September 25th at Howard University in Washington, DC. Filmmaker Steve McQueen, NSBA representative David Pickler and TV Personality Montel Williams will participate in a town hall moderated by political analyst Michelle Bernard to discuss their plans to keep “12 Years a Slave” in the forefront of the nation’s minds by making Solomon Northrup’s story available to every public high school in the U.S.