"Twelve Years a Slave" Has Ties to Alexandria Home

By Zachary Kiesch and Mila Mimica
|  Wednesday, Nov 6, 2013  |  Updated 1:54 PM EDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
News4's Zachary Kiesch shows how the film

Zachary Kiesch

News4's Zachary Kiesch shows how the film "12 Years a Slave" is generating new interest in a house in Alexandria for its connection to the story of Solomon Northup, a free black man sold into slavery in the 19th century.

advertisement

The blockbuster "Twelve Years a Slave" is generating new interest in an Alexandria, Va. home for its connection to the story.

The movie documents the life of Solomon Northup, a free black man kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1858.

"One of the last owners of [the home] when it was a slave pen was actually the same person that sold Northup into slavery, and that was James Burch," Freedom House exhibit designer Julia Kiganda said.

Freedom House is located at 1315 Duke Street, once a hotbed of the slavery business in Alexandria during the early 1800s.

"Slavery permeated everything and the culture and society," Audrey P. Davis with the Alexandria Black History Museum said. "Even if you gained your freedom, there was a chance you would be enslaved again. I think that's what Northup's story tells us."

Some of the original bars, windows and chains remain. 

"Sometimes I feel the ghost of Northup," President of the Northern Virginia Urban league Cynthia Dinkins said. "[He's] not scary, but he's empowering people. Everything they did allows us to do what we do today."

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
Join the Ride to Conquer Cancer
Join the Ride To Conquer Cancer, Sept. 13... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out