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Read the remarkable true story, in Solomon Northup’s own words, that inspired the film – directed by Steve McQueen and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Fassbender.
Northup’s meticulous first-hand recordings of slave life provide a true-life testament to tremendous courage and tenacity in the face of unfathomable injustice. Tricked by two men offering him a job as a musician in New York State in 1841, Solomon Northup was drugged and kidnapped. His life in jeopardy, he was forced to assume a new name and fake past. Taken to Louisiana on a disease-riddenplague ship, he was initially sold to a cotton planter.
In the twelve years that followed he was sold to many different owners who treated him with varying levels of savagery; forced labour, scant food and numerous beatings. Against all odds, Northup eventually succeeded in contacting a sympathetic party and managed to get word to his family. The ensuing rescue and legal cases were no less shocking and intriguing than the rest of the tale.
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This competition has closed. The winners are Katie Walden Hall (@comper2013) from Kingswood, Christine Bray (@chrriss88) from Leeds, Dan Mossop (@danmossop89) from Chester, Ian Yates (@deaddogsmoking) from Clitheroe and John T Mead (@johnmadmead) from Kent.
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Employees and contributors of CultBox.co.uk and their families are not eligible to enter. The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. The prize may not be transferred to any other person. No cash alternative or alternative prize is available on entrant’s request, but in the event of the advertised competition prize being unavailable we reserve the right to offer an alternative prize of equal or greater value. Entry in the competition implies acceptance of these rules.