*As the world knows “12 Years A Slave” garnered three coveted Oscar statuettes at the Academy Awards ceremony held at the Dolby Theatre Sunday night in Hollywood.
The film about Solomon Northup – a black man never a slave … a free man, tricked into slavery, but finally freed after 12 years – won best picture. British director Steve McQueen took time in his acceptance speech to recognize the fact that slavery still exists.
“Everyone deserves not just to survive but to live. This is most important legacy of Solomon Northup. I dedicate this award to all the people who have endured slavery and 21 million people who still suffer slavery today,” McQueen said.
Lupita Nyong’o was awarded her oscar for “12 Years” in the best supporting actress category. Nyong’o, who portrayed the abused slave Patsey, was teary eyed when she declared, “This has been the joy of my life.”
It was the Kenyan beauty’s first time in a feature film – after having only graduated from the Yale School of Drama in 2012.
John Ridley picked up his first Academy Award for best Adaptation of a Screenplay for “12 Years A Slave.”
Clayton Adams says he is “honored” by the movie because it’s very personal to him. Northup is his great-great-great grandfather.
Adams recalls how his grandmother Victoria gave his mother and her 8 siblings the book, “Puttin’ On Ole Massa: The Slave Narratives of Henry Bibb, William Wells Brown, and Solomon Northup.”
“She made sure all of the nine children would have this history – would have this legacy in the family and keep it going on for generations.”
His grandmother wasn’t able to get Northup’s book, “12 Years A Slave” because it was out of print.
Now his family has created the Solomon Northup Foundation. Adams said the foundation was formed “to promote the education not just of Solomon Northup but of all African American history.”
“Our other main goal is to actually try to locate where Solomon Northup actually is now and bring him back to Baker Cemetery in upstate New York.”
Adams, who lives in Pittsburgh, said Northup made it clear in his book that he wanted to be buried in the same cemetery where his father is buried.
Watch Clayton Adams being interviewed by EURweb associate Tené Croom: