PRINCE AMONG SLAVES is an inspiring true story of Abdul Rahman, an African Muslim prince who survived the harsh ordeals of slavery through his love of family and deep abiding faith. This special tells the forgotten story of an African prince who was enslaved in Mississippi for 40 years before finally achieving freedom and becoming one of the most famous men in America. The film depicts a universal story of perseverance, hope and unimaginable indignities. Prince Rahman faced immeasurable odds, yet managed to survive his long fall from royalty with character and integrity intact. Narrated by actor and hip-hop artist Mos Def, PRINCE AMONG SLAVES is based on Dr. Terry Alford's biography of the same name.
Join KUED for a free public screening and panel discussion of the film Tuesday, February 26, from 7-9 p.m. at the Salt Lake City Main Public Library, 210 East 400 South. Panelists include Ghulam Hasnain, director of the Salt Lake American Muslim Association, Hajie Goll, research officer for the United Africans of Utah, Amadou Niang, PhD candidate, Department of Education, Culture & Society at the University of Utah, and Edward Lewis Jr., former NAACP Tri-State President for Idaho, Nevada and Utah. The documentary, part of PBS' tribute to Black History Month, is a presentation of the National Black Programming Consortium. It was the winner of the Best Documentary at the 2007 American Black Film Festival.
Prince Rahman, a young African general slated to rule a nation larger than the Thirteen Colonies, was instead captured during battle in 1788 and sold into slavery in Mississippi. He served on a single plantation in Natchez for almost 40 years, before negotiating his freedom with the U.S. State Department and the White House in 1828. Prince Rahman later returned to Africa, where his royal status was once again acknowledged. PRINCE AMONG SLAVES ends with a family reunion of Rahman's African and American descendents in Natchez, Mississippi.
"I was immediately attracted to this story because of its powerful message," re-enactment director and supervisory producer Bill Duke says. "Too many people continue to be enslaved by poverty, drugs and bad decisions. But like Abdul Rahman, they can come out of it and regain their dignity and respect."
This amazing piece of American history is perhaps the best detailed biography of an enslaved African, yet it was never included in history books, until now. Through the story of this man, who happened also to be a devout Muslim, American viewers have a chance to move beyond the stereotypes of our day concerning Islam, to learn something more about Muslims in Early America.
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