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12-years a Slave- American Literature

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Sharon MetoyerJones is a retired educator who taught Literature in the California school system for 30 years. She has the superb ability to look at the events described in Solomon Northrup’s  Twelve Years a Slave and draw parallels of the events in Northrup's book and the events described in The Odyssey,  one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer written around 800 B.C.E. It is, in part, a sequel to the Illiad, the other work ascribed to Homer. The poem mainly centers on the Greek hero Odysseus (known as Ulysses in Roman myths) and his 10-year journey home.  In his absence, it is assumed he has died. 12 Years a Slave is the 1853 memoir of  Solomon Northup, a New York State-born free Black man who was kidnapped in Washington, D.C. in 1841 and sold into slavery.. He was enslaved on plantations in the state of Louisiana for twelve years before he was able to get assistance and subsequent release and returned to his life as a free man. Extensive scholarly evaluation has proven that the accounts written by Solomon Northrup to be accurate.The tragedy and triumph described in these two books can be paralleled and exploited to teach the fundamentals of literature, stimulate ethical behavior discussions and explore a dark time in American history with respect to laws allowing the enslavement of Black people.

Ms. MetoyerJones was born in Central Louisiana and grew with a passion for Social Studies. She earned he bachelor’s degree with a major in Social Studies and minor in English. At the time that she sought teaching assignments, only male coaches taught social studies in secondary schools so she began teaching English and Literature.. Ms. MetoyerJones insight in social studies provide a unique perspective for her in evaluation historically relevant works.

 

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