The National School Boards Association has partnered with New Regency, Penguin Books and the filmmakers to distribute copies of the Oscar-winning film, book and study guide 12 Years a Slave to America’s public high schools.
The initiative, coordinated by television personality Montel Williams, will start to distribute 12 Years a Slave nationwide in September 2014. The effort is modeled after an initiative Williams launched that ultimately led to distribution by “The Montel Williams Show” of copies of the Civil War film Glory to public high schools.
“12 Years a Slave is one of the most impactful films in recent memory, and I am honored to have been able to bring together Fox Searchlight and National School Boards Association to maximize its educational potential. When Hollywood is at its best, the power of the movies can be harnessed into a powerful educational tool. This film uniquely highlights a shameful period in American history, and in doing so will evoke in students a desire to not repeat the evils of the past while inspiring them to dream big of a better and brighter future, and I'm proud to be a part of that,” said Williams.
12 Years a Slave depicts the harrowing tale of a New York State-born free black man (portrayed by Chiwetel Ejiofor) who is kidnapped in Washington, D.C., in 1841 and sold into slavery. This groundbreaking film won an Oscar for Best Picture, a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Drama, the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Picture, the PGA Award for Best Picture, and the BAFTA Award for Best Film.
Williams also has joined NSBA as a celebrity spokesperson in its Stand Up 4 Public Schools campaign that showcases the great things happening in America’s public schools.
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