But the overwhelming acclaim surrounding 12 Years a Slave is especially curious, because slavery has been well accounted since the early 1800s. What more could possibly be said about slavery? Who has belabored under the impression that slavery was anything but an abject horror?
I loved all three Steve McQueen feature movies, so I’d defend him either way, but this quote is bizarre to me. Didn’t we just come out of a Halloween where people thought it was cool to dress up in blackface? They’re idiots, but something also tells me that they didn’t learn much black history in school either.
Check out the rather paltry buildings dedicated to this history in the United States. The third attempt to open a museum dedicated to the history of slavery failed in 2008 due to lack of funding. Last month the museum agreed to sell back their land to Fredericksburg for back taxes (they couldn’t get tax-exempt status for the museum land). They filed for bankruptcy in 2011.
Movies are not museums or history books, but they’re the medium available right now to tell these stories in a way that has some chance to reach a huge audience.