Jim Engster speaks with Professor Walter Johnson, a leading historian, about the history of slavery in the French Quarter of New Orleans, and Dr. John La Puma discusses his latest health book "Refuel."
Lupita Nyong'o and Chiwetel Ejiofor play Patsey and Solomon, two slaves on a Louisiana plantation, in <em>12 Years a Slave</em><em>.</em>
Credit Francois Duhamel / Fox Searchlight Pictures
Director Steve McQueen (left) works with actors on the set of <em>12 Years A Slave</em>. The film was shot on a Louisiana plantation that sits next door to where Solomon Northup spent his years as a slave.
Solomon Northup was born free in early-19th-century upstate New York. He lived the life of a respected and elegant musician until 1841, when he was lured South by the promise of a lucrative stint playing his fiddle in a traveling circus.
In Washington, D.C. — in the shadow of the Capitol — Northup was drugged. When he came to, he was in chains: a slave headed for the hellish world of plantation life. Only the hope of being reunited with his beloved wife and children kept him going.