'12 Years a Slave' coming to public high schools
The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is partnering with New Regency, Penguin Books and the filmmakers to distribute copies of the acclaimed film, book and study guide 12 Years a Slave to America’s public high schools.
The initiative, coordinated by TV host Montel Williams, will start to distribute 12 Years a Slave nationwide in September 2014 in concert with the new school year. It is modeled against an initiative Williams launched that led to distribution by “The Montel Williams Show” of copies of the Civil War film Glory to public high schools.
“Since first reading 12 Years a Slave, it has been my dream that this book be taught in schools. I am immensely grateful to Montel Williams and the National School Boards Association for making this dream a reality and for sharing Solomon Northup’s story with today’s generation,” said Steve McQueen, the film’s director.
“The National School Boards Association is honored to partner with Fox Searchlight Pictures and Penguin Books to ensure that every public high school student in America has the opportunity to stare the stark realities of slavery in the eye through books and film,” said NSBA president David A. Pickler.
12 Years a Slave depicts the harrowing tale of a New York State-born free black man kidnapped in Washington, D.C. in 1841 and sold into slavery. The film has been awarded the Golden Globe, the Critics Choice Award, the PGA Award and the BAFTA Award for Best Picture and is nominated for nine Academy Awards.