Sunday, February 3, 2008

Black History Month 2.0: Africans and America

A new film premieres Monday, February 4 called "Prince Among Slaves."

Here's a brief synopsis from the film's website:
1788. The slave ship Africa set sail from the Gambia River, its hold laden with a profitable but highly perishable cargo—hundreds of men, women and children bound in chains--headed for American shores. Eight months later, a handful of survivors found themselves for sale in Natchez, Mississippi. On the slave auction block, one of them, a 26-year-old male named Abdul Rahman Ibrahima made an astonishing claim to Thomas Foster, the plantation owner who purchased him at auction: As an African prince, highly educated and heir to a kingdom, this bedraggled African’s father would gladly pay gold for his return. Foster dismissed the claim as a tissue of lies.

Follow this link for coverage of the major historical figures that factor into Abdul Rahman Ibrahima's life including John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, Francis Scott Key and David Walker. The film is based on Terry Alford's Prince Among Slaves (Oxford University Press, 2007; Thirtieth Anniversary Edition).
Watch clips of the film here and read some press clippings about the film. And the rapper Mos Def is the film's narrator.

In addition to Alford's book, this film appears as if it will work in tandem with Sylviane Diouf's work on the ship Clotilda, and much of Michael Gomez's outstanding scholarship on Africans in the Americas. Check out this on-line exhibit about Africans in the Americas from the Schomburg Center.

Watch the film and leave your comments.

[Photo credit here.]


Nikolas said...

Well this seems like a very interesting movie to say the least. I find it very interesting the various people that this prince came across in all his years enduring the scurge of slavery and how in all that he rose from the ashes and retained his dignity as a person. I am really interested in seeing how this movie is recieved by the general public and how much it is talked about after it's initial release. I'm pretty lucky to have been logged in when this was posted heh I hope I'll be lucky tommorow too.

Anonymous said...

This movie seems very very interesting! I hope that we will get to watch it in class. I love how even through a difficult situation, he knows that this horrible time is in God's plan for him.

Anonymous said...

The last one was Kendall Burgess