‘12 Years a Slave’ will be taught in schools in the USA

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A post by Peter Jordens.

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) will recommend that US public high schools add 12 Years a Slave – the film, the book, and a study guide – to their curriculum on slavery.

The film’s director, Steve McQueen, had spoken about his desire to have the film and its source material be part of education for young students around the world. The NSBA along with talkshow host Montel Williams have partnered with New Regency, Penguin Books and the filmmakers to distribute copies of the film, the eponymous 1853 memoir and study guide. The initiative is modeled on one Williams previously launched to distribute the Civil War film Glory to public high schools.

“When Hollywood is at its best, the power of the movies can be harnessed into a powerful educational tool,” Williams said in a statement. “This film uniquely highlights a shameful period in American history, and in doing so will evoke in students a desire to not repeat the evils of the past while inspiring them to dream big of a better and brighter future.”

The distribution will commence September 2014 with the new school year. Individual school districts will decide whether or not to incorporate it in their curricula. “This gives high school teachers a lot of options, so they can decide how they can fit it in with the curricula they’re teaching,” said Tom Gentzel, executive director of the NSBA.

Sources: http://variety.com/2014/film/news/12-years-a-slave-will-be-taught-in-high-schools-1201122819, http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/oscarnominated-film-12-years-a-slave-to-be-taught-in-us-schools-9160970.html and http://entertainment.time.com/2014/02/24/12-years-a-slave-will-be-taught-in-schools.

One thought on “‘12 Years a Slave’ will be taught in schools in the USA

  1. I was thinking it is shame that it takes a motion picture for people to recommend a book that has been around since the 19th century. But then I read the original article at the Variety website and the vitriolic comments that followed. These folks need as much education as possible, no matter the inspiration. I wish the NSBA and Montel Williams much success in getting school boards to adopt this text. BTW if you want to read Solomon Northrup (as well as other slave narratives) you can find them online free of charge or download them for your e-reader for free or at a nominal fee.

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