Facing Harsh Realities in '12 Years a Slave'
From the minute I first set eyes on the eyes of Ejiofor as Solomon, I was struck by a kind of fire. Inside his eyes I felt the weight of the 19th century reality of slavery. His Oscar nomination is so well deserved as is the one received by Nyong’o, who brilliantly portrayed fear and shame for being the slave owner's mistress and continuous rape victim.
After the book came out, Northup traveled around the world lecturing on slavery, and went on to help free slaves in Vermont around 1863. Northup unsuccessfully tried to sue his captors. As a black man he was banned from giving evidence against white people in court, but the book became his sweet revenge.
And it is our sweet revenge...because in 2014 I think we all need a reminder about the harsh realities of this dark period in American history.