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Department head to lead discussion on Northup’s legacy

Released: 02/21/2013

The lasting influences of Solomon Northup will be the topic of a lecture to be held at 2 p.m., Sunday, March 10, in the Black Box Theater of the Multipurpose Academic Center building on LSU Alexandria’s campus.

Dr. Jerry Sanson, chair of LSU Alexandria’s Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences, will present the lecture, entitled, “More than Twelve Years a Slave: the Enduring Legacy of Solomon Northup.” The talk is part of the Coffee & Culture Series sponsored by the Friends of the James C. Bolton Library at LSUA. The lecture and reception are co-sponsored by the Historical Association of Central Louisiana.

Twelve Years a Slave, is the detailed narrative of the abduction of a free black man and his enslavement in the south. The Epps House on LSU Alexandria campus was built by Edwin Epps, “owner” of Solomon Northup. It was originally located on the north bank of Bayou Bouef, and is the only remaining standing structure directly associated with Twelve Years a Slave. A tour of the Epps House will be held after the lecture.

Dr. Sue Eakin, a prominent historian from Bunkie, rediscovered Northup’s autobiography in the 1930s and made it her lifelong project, dedicating more than 70 years to the research. She shared Northup’s insightful view into slavery in a 1968 version of his diary. The book is considered one of the best firsthand accounts of slave life in existence.

A major motion picture based on the book, starring Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti, and Michael Fassbender, is set for release in late 2013. An audiobook, narrated by Academy Award and Emmy winner Louis Gossett Jr., is set for release March 1. Information on the audiobook will also be available at the lecture.

The Coffee & Culture Series sponsored by the Friends of the James C. Bolton Library at LSUA offered its first program in the spring of 1996.