Who was the real Solomon Northrup?

The movie "12 Years a Slave" tells the harrowing true story of Solomon Northup.

Born free in 1808, Northup was kidnapped in 1841 and endured 12 years of slavery before he was freed. He wrote a book about his experiences that would later become the basis for the 2013 movie.

Directed by Steve McQueen, the film stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Brad Pitt. Hailed as one of the best films of 2013, "12 Years a Slave" was nominated for numerous awards including nine Academy Awards. It won the Oscar for best picture; screenwriter John Ridley and best supporting actress Lupita Nyong'o also won Oscars.

Northrup's story is one that's essential to American history, and its big-screen treatment will help ensure Northup is not forgotten.

See the film and learn more about the extraordinarily true story of Solomon Northup.

The Blood and Tears, Not the Magnolias: ‘12 Years a Slave’ Holds Nothing Back in Show of Suffering

How 12 Years a Slave Gets History Right: By Getting It Wrong

Solomon Northrup's Odyssey

The New York Times’ 1853 Coverage of Solomon Northup, the Hero of “12 Years A Slave”

What Happened To Solmon Northup And Patsey After The Events Of ’12 Years A Slave’?

“What’ll Become of Me?” Finding the Real Patsey of 12 Years a Slave

EXCERPT FROM TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE: NARRATIVE OF SOLOMON NORTHUP, A CITIZEN OF NEW-YORK, KIDNAPPED

New Solomon Northup book