You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

’12 Years A Slave’ To Be Taught In Public High Schools Next School Year

'12 Years A Slave' To Be Taught In Public High Schools Next School Year

Public high school students will soon have a new piece of media, along with films like classroom mainstay Roots, to teach about the horrors and legacy of slavery. 

Since 12 Years A Slave was released last year, director Steve McQueen has spoken about his desire to see Solomon Northup’s autobiography of the same name integrated into school curricula. It looks like he’ll finally get his wish as the National School Boards Association (NSBA) has partnered with New Regency, Penguin Books, and Fox Searchlight to distribute copies of the 1853 memoir, along with the acclaimed film and accompanying study guide to America’s public high schools.

The initiative, organized by talk show host and NSBA spokesperson Montel Williams, is modeled after a program that Williams developed to integrate the film Glory into public schools years ago. 

12 Years a Slave is one of the most impactful films in recent memory, and I am honored to have been able to bring together Fox Searchlight and National School Boards Association to maximize its educational potential. When Hollywood is at its best, the power of the movies can be harnessed into a powerful educational tool. 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, and I’m proud to be a part of that,” said Williams in an announcement released this weekend. 

This comes as good news, as media becomes increasingly important to reaching students accustomed to getting their information from the moving image and the web. It would be nice to see other issue-centered films, for example Fruitvale Station, take up this model as well, even in excerpt form. 

12 Years A Slave educational materials are set to be distributed in the upcoming school year, in September 2014. 

This Article is related to: News and tagged ,


Comments

Shavonne

This is an extremely important film, but not one to necessarily show in a high school setting.

CareyCarey

BULLSH*T! Are we serious? What exactly are the student going to learn? Oh wait "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".

So tell me, if I was a black high school student, exactly what part of the past (taken from this film) would I not desire to repeat… and can actually change!? Yeah, that was merely "sound good" rhetoric that will produce no viable or favorable results for black high school students. I believe the film Malcolm X would be a better choice – BY FAR. Or even, The Spook Who Sat By The Door. That is, if the goal is teaching black youth the ways of white folks, yesterday and today, those films are exactly what the doctor ordered. Not the film "12 years" which only served to show there are no dire consequences for those who wreak havoc upon the black man. Oppress him, rape him, hang him, fk him, enslave him and whip him until he bleeds, and nothing happens to the evil doers in this movie. But lets show it to high school students so they can learn – WHAT!? Or, that right, they can learn to dream big. Yeaaah riiiiight.

Listen, promoting this movie in high school leaves me with the same feelings I have to deal with when I hear the book "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" is mandatory reading in many schools and the film "To Kill a Mockingbird" is deemed a "classic" and a "must see" film by all Americans. Please, spare me the insult. What did we learn from reading and watching those parts of American history?

Damn-damn-damn, we're being played and pimped like bald-head suckers. Unfortunately, many of us are carrying the banner with smiles on our face.

Mark & Darla

State of Texas ain't having it.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *