Film Screening: Prince Among Slaves

Prince Among Slaves movie cover

The award-winning film Prince Among Slaves will be shown Tuesday Feb 26, 2013 at 7:00 PM in Belk Library room 114.

The event is presented by ASU Library in conjunction with the ASU Humanities Council with grant funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. This is the first in a series of programs that compose the 2013 Muslim Journeys Program.  It is also shown in celebration of Black History Month. The film will be introduced by ASU Instructor, Ray Christian, who will also lead discussion following the film.

Date: Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Time: 7:00pm

Location: Belk Library, room 114

Admission: Free, open to the public

The film is based on the true story of Abdul Rahman Ibrahima Sori, an African prince and devout Muslim slaved in the American South.

In 1788, the slave ship Africa set sail from West Africa, headed for America with its berth laden with a profitable but highly perishable cargo—hundreds of men, women, and children bound in chains. Six months later the survivors were sold in Natchez, Mississippi. One of them, a twenty-six-year-old man named Abdul-Rahman made the remarkable claim to the farmer who purchased him at the auction that he was an African prince and that his father would pay gold for his ransom. The offer was refused and Abdul-Rahman did not return to Africa for another forty years. During his enslavement he toiled on the Foster plantation, married, and fathered nine children. His story also eventually made him the most famous African in America, attracting the support of powerful men such as President John Quincy Adams.

After forty years of slavery, Abdul-Rahman finally reclaimed his freedom, but he defied the order to return immediately to Africa, and instead traveled throughout the northern states, speaking to huge audiences in a partially successful attempt to raise enough money to buy his children’s freedom. Finally at the age of sixty-seven, and after raising funds to free two of his children, Abdul-Rahman returned to Africa, only to fall ill and die just as word of his arrival reached his former home of Futa Jalloo in present-day Guinea. Abdul-Rahman survived the harsh ordeals of slavery through his love of family and his deep faith as a Muslim.

For more information, please contact Allan Scherlen, scherlnag@appstate.edu, 828-262-2285.

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