Beyond Twelve Years a Slave

March 21, 2020

Milton Renaissance Museum & Visitors Center

169 Broad Street, Milton, NC

North Carolina Humanities Council Road Scholar, Laurel Sneed, will present “Beyond Twelve Years a Slave” at Milton Renaissance Museum & Visitors Center, Saturday, March 21, at 10:30 AM.

The presentation features three courageous African American Tar Heels who escaped to freedom and authored slave narratives: Harriet Jacobs, of Edenton; William H. Singleton, of New Bern; and Moses Roper, of Caswell County. Sneed will discuss how these three authors left their mark on the North American Slave Narrative Literary Tradition, as well as how they compare to Solomon Northup’s “12 Years a Slave.” The mission of the slave narrative was to convert the hearts and minds of readers to support the anti-slavery cause. As the narratives were often dismissed as “anti-slavery propaganda,” Sneed will share what research has revealed about their veracity.

One of the featured slave narrative writers, Moses Roper, was born near Red House, present-day Semora. His 1837 autobiography, written after his escape to England, repeatedly sold out, necessitating ten reprintings in the two decades after its publication.

Laurel Sneed is an educator, researcher,  and media producer/film-maker based in Durham, North Carolina. In 1995 she led the research effort that discovered Thomas Day’s origins and parentage  in southern Virginia. Since then she has produced  a broad range of materials and media on Thomas Day and other African American historical topics. Additionally, Sneed is director of the Crafting Freedom teacher workshops, which have brought over 400 teachers to North Carolina to study black artisans, entrepreneurs and abolitionists who contributed to the making of our state.

This project is made possible by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Milton Renaissance Museum & Visitors Center is located at 169 Broad Street, Milton, NC, 27305. For any additional information, email [email protected]. The event is free to the public.