12 Years a Slave, the story of Solomon Northup’s life as a free Black man who was abducted and sold into slavery, will now be taught in American public high schools.
According to Time, the National School Board Association in partnership with New Regency, Penguin Books has announced that the Oscar-nominated film, along with the original 1853 memoir and a study guide will be sent to public high schools across the United States.
Each school district will be able to decide how and if they will incorporate the material into their curriculum.
Tom Gentzel, executive director of the NSBA, said, “This gives high school teachers a lot of options, so they can decide how they can fit it in with the curricula they’re teaching.”
Steve McQueen, the film’s director, has been vocal about his desire to have Solomon Northup’s story become a part of education around the world. “Since first reading 12 Years a Slave, it has been my dream that this book be taught in schools,” said McQueen.
12 Years a Slave is set to be distributed in September. Talk show host Montel Williams will fund the distribution of the film.