Chiwetel Ejiofor, center, plays Solomon Northup in the film adaptation of his autobiography “12 Years a Slave.” The movie is directed by Steve McQueen and also stars Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender. (Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight)
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Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) was a black man born free in upstate New York in 1808. A skilled carpenter and fiddler, he and his wife (Kelsey Scott) settled in Saratoga Springs, where they were raising their children (Quvenzhane Wallis and Cameron Zeigler) when their American dream turned into a neverending nightmare.