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Banners to host 12 Years a Slave film, lecture

Banners to host 12 Years a Slave film, lecture

12 Years a Slave movie posterMcNeese State University will host a free screening of the 2014 Academy Award-winning film, "12 Years a Slave," with a follow-up lecture about the book the film is based, on Tuesday, March 18, as part of the 2014 McNeese Banners Cultural Season.
The film - winning three Oscars for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay - will be presented at 4:30 p.m. in the Shearman Fine Arts Performing Arts Theatre.

Following the screening, Dr. John Keeling, assistant professor of history at McNeese, will talk at 7 p.m. in the SFA Theatre about author Solomon Northup's book, "Twelve Years a Slave," and antebellum Louisiana and he will place the slave narrative and the film in its historical context.

Northup was a free black man from New York who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841. After spending 12 years working primarily on cotton plantations in central Louisiana, he secured his freedom and later dictated an account of his ordeal.

Considered one of the best of the genre of slave narratives written in the antebellum era, Northup's story provides a wealth of information about the institution of slavery in Louisiana and has long been a key source for historians, according to Keeling.

Keeling will discuss antebellum kidnappings of free African-Americans, the slave markets of New Orleans and the world that Northup navigated in 1840s Louisiana. He will also take a look at how the filmmakers used the narrative in crafting the film.

For more information, call the Banners office at 475-5123 or visit the website at Persons needing accommodations as provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act should contact the ADA Coordinator at (337) 475-5428 voice; (337) 475-5960 fax; (337) 562-4227 TDD/TTY, hearing impaired; or by email at