Book Review: Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

Twelve Years a Slave 1853


The story of Solomon Northup, and the dignity and humility in which he tells it, is harrowing, awe-inspiring and horrifying. I am most interested in his observations on how deep and inescapable the system of slavery was for those who perpetuated it. Of how, from a young age, that system was instructed and reinforced. Now, 150 years later, the deep roots of that cultural identity are still present and the ramifications felt. Yes, we’ve come a long way, but a stain as deep and large as slavery is not quickly washed clean.