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12 Years a Slave Changed My Life



A friend recently echoed the typical response I hear from people who have seen the film 12 Years a Slave: “I was moved.” Maybe they’re afraid to say too much because it’s about racism. But a more accurate response to the film, one that resonates best with me, is “I will never look at this country the same way again.”

12 Years a Slave is not Disneyfied or glossed over. It’s not a beautiful movie about the “Great South” with lavish costumes, grand balls, and white war heroes. You won’t leave the theater saying, “Oh my God, I loved that movie!” It’s just one man’s story, but it makes you imagine how horrible life had to have been for millions of others who lived exactly like him for hundreds of years. They built much of the foundation and wealth of this country in absolute misery and for free.


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