1788. The slave ship Africa set sail from the Gambia River, its hold laden with a profitable but highly perishable cargo—hundreds of men, women and children bound in chains--headed for American shores. Eight months later, a handful of survivors found themselves for sale in Natchez, Mississippi. On the slave auction block, one of them, a 26-year-old male named Abdul Rahman Ibrahima made an astonishing claim to Thomas Foster, the plantation owner who purchased him at auction: As an African prince, highly educated and heir to a kingdom, this bedraggled African’s father would gladly pay gold for his return. Foster dismissed the claim as a tissue of lies.
PRINCE AMONG SLAVES is the true story of Abdul Rahman Ibrahima, brought to life in rich, dramatic detail on film, including:
- his life as the son of one of the most revered and fierce kings on the African continent and the tribal battle that stripped him of his rightful heritage;
- his journey from Africa to a Natchez, Mississippi, plantation where he successfully escaped—only to return in order to survive;
- his role as a man whose education surpassed that of his white superiors and how he used his knowledge to sustain himself and create his master’s wealth;
- his accidental reunion 25 years later with John Coates Cox, an Irish immigrant earlier rescued from certain death by Ibrahima’s father in Africa; and Cox’s negotiations to secure his friend’s freedom;
- the impact of slavery on Thomas Foster's family as his adult children were saddled with drunkenness, insanity, abandonment and murder;
- the colorful characters and important historical figures who peopled Ibrahima’s life, including Mississippi journalist Andrew Marschalk who popularized his story to secure his freedom, only to later turn on him with racially charged editorials;
- his release from slavery and the work he would do to launch his celebrity, sparking racial tension throughout the ante-bellum South;
- his return to Africa and his death there just days from his former home.