‘12 Years a Slave’ Will Be Taught In High Schools

The National School Boards Association will recommend that U.S. public high schools add Oscar-nominated feature “12 Years a Slave” to their curriculum.

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 book and study guide. The initiative is modeled on one Williams previously launched to distribute the Civil War film “Glory” to public high schools, an effort that ultimately led to “The Montel Williams Show.”

Steve McQueen’s historical drama is nominated for nine Academy Awards, including best picture.

“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 with the new school year.

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  1. knuckledragger says:

    …why let a silly thing like the truth get in the way of an agenda? Push it right up there with the 2-week Holocaust (TM) indoctrination as a reminder of just how bad all those White people are with their stupid civilization and progress.

  2. Wow. You lot really have some strong opinions. And fair enough. I believe its a ridiculous thing that 12 years a slave will be used as an educational tool in schools. Aside from the obvious explicit content, slavery should be taught from an objective and real point of view. Blacks sold each other out, Arabs, Indians and Chinese were also heavily involved in the slave trade. The focus on one film as a representation of the whole slave concept is stupid, but not surprising as its the American educational system after all. Just a mess of system, thats partly why your kids are so screwed up. Black and White.

    • “Blacks sold each other out” – And you can document that how, exactly? The history of slavery was written & documented by the very same people who did it in the first place. Which means that whatever “documentation” has no credibility at all. We all know history is written by the victor. 40% of the people who were enslaved came from the BaKongo (central Africa) peoples, I’ve NEVER heard my elders talk about us selling our own people to anybody. Not in the scale that white people will have us to think. I suggest you go over there and ask the descendants of the very people (who were kidnapped and enslaved) themselves, before you slander Africans with such a foolish statement!

      • My statement was not foolish. Maybe unfounded, but not foolish, watch your words. So school me because I can’t dispute the truth. My elders have taught me different from you. How I understand it is, when the ‘New World’ was being conquered, there was a hierarchical system in place in Afirca. Kings Queens and so on. I was under the impression that the westerners, would sail to Africa in their ships with the intent of expanding their empire through theft of raw materials. Now it can go two ways when you want to enslave an entire race. They can come willingly or they can be forced. How was it that black people got from shore to ship? In my opinion, it seems more plausible that these kings, the elite of the Africans at the time, were fascinated by the white people and the foreign treasures they would bring. The westerners also brought along weapons of small destruction as a measure of forcible persuasion if the treasure wasn’t enough, and I assume with a mix of both of these the Kings of Africa were able to convince their own people it was a good thing to go with the white man. Or did the people of Africa believe that jumping on the ship with the westerners was a good thing and followed them on with no fuss, which would make them naïve no? Or were they dragged from their beds in the middle of the night and violently enslaved, but allowed themselves to be raped and used for years and years without putting up any sort of a fight, which would make them weak? Its hard to hear, but reality is it doesn’t look good from any angle. But I would be delighted if you could tell me how it really went down boss.

  3. realist says:

    Not interested….don’t personally know anyone who was a slave, and not related to any of the 2.7 % % of the population generations ago who had one…..

  4. cali says:

    I say sure, put it in public schools, but only if we can start discussing real murder, rape, robbery statistics and the stats regarding public assistance.

  5. joe says:

    How about the fact that the book is not all true and the man was not loved by his family. Roots was an entirely a work of fiction and plagiarism. After roots blacks jumped whites across America. Why not show the tribes i Africa being rounded up and raped by the black and Arab muslims that controlled the slave trade. How about a film that shows chattel slavery as it exists in Africa today. Why not show a film about the fact that blacks and Arabs took slaves from Europe for over 700 yrs before the New world was discovered. Stop the white guilt BS that is causing Americans to have Negro fatigue especially as we see that everyday throughout the nation blacks rape rob and murder whites. We see that blacks have had their own cities counties and towns for decades where they oppress the whites and drive them out with their black violence and racism. Stop the lies and the manipulations and start telling the truth. No people on earth have ever done as much for another the way the white people have taken care of blacks to their own detriment.

  6. toddnbrown says:

    Not gonna happen. Parents can easily complain that since it’s an “R” rated film that it shouldn’t be shown to kids.

  7. Valerie says:

    How about fact checking what you publish? There is no such thing as a “National Curriculum” in the United States. Nor does the NSBA have any input into curriculum development. Nor by the way is Glory or Schindler’s List or Roots, etc. part of any national curriculum in the United States. Our educational system does not work that way.

    That said, the NSBA can make recommendations but it is up to the individual school boards and districts as to whether any film will or will not be allowed to be used. Even then, the school board doesn’t dictate all the tools used in the classroom.

    I do commend this action though and film does help bring to life things that sometimes a textbook cannot.

  8. eddie willers says:

    Must keep the pot stirred up.

  9. Julienne says:

    How about the freakin’ constitution?! Our country’s structure and Laws are much more important than a story that’s been told a thousand times.

    • Josh says:

      The “freakin Constitution” is taught in schools. This film clearly demonstrates the importance of the freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights as well as the 13 amendment.

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