It is difficult to imagine, in this world of mostly modern thinking where technology creates at least a geographic intimacy, the hopeless plight of Abdul-Rahman and the many millions like him. His first desire was, of course, escape. But in 1788, alone in a strange land, with no resources, no friends, not even the assumption of humanity to protect him, escape was impossible. Instead, he was forced to draw upon his faith in God and submit to the life that was now set before him, a life unimaginable just one short year before.
Doc Explores Life of Enslaved African Royal Son
"Farai Chideya talks with the documentary's co-executive producer, Alex Kronemer"
Slave's Royal Lineage Chronicled in New Film
Director of reenactments, Bill Duke, and Artemus Gaye, a descendant of the film's hero, discuss the true story.
A 'Lost' African Prince Found
The documentary, told through several reenactments, relates the story from Rahman's own perspective. "The story really has been obscure, but it shed light on a part of African American history that I'd never really heard about," co-executive producer Alex Kronemer explained, saying the story diffuses widely held stereotypes. "West African societies were well-developed and literate, but people think of them as primitive and vulnerable. But now we know African history doesn't start at zero."
A lifetime of slavery, a legacy of freedom
"Prince Among Slaves" is narrated by actor-musician Mos Def, with stirring re-enactment scenes as well as commentary from numerous voices including K. Anthony Appiah, professor of philosophy at Princeton University; Islamic scholars Hamza Yusuf Hanson and Zaid Shakir; and Terry Alford, whose 1977 historical biography inspired the film.
"... Prince Among Slaves chronicles Abdul Rahman’s capture at the hands of a warring tribe, sale to English slave traders, transport to America, and 40 years of enslavement; Abdul Rahman’s plight, as Mos Def’s narration explains, would eventually gain the attention of Secretary of State Henry Clay and President John Quincy Adams, who ordered his freedom."
WVSU class creates marketing campaign for movie premiere
"The students, ranging from freshmen to seniors, designed a poster, advertised on radio and television stations and sold blocks of tickets to various churches, organizations and businesses."
Film about abolitionist Ibrahima to be shown at Cultural Center
"The movie, which will be broadcast next year on PBS, recounts the life of Ibrahima, a royal heir in a West African country in 1788 when captured and brought to the United States as a slave. His plight won him supporters in President John Quincy Adams and Secretary of State Henry Clay, and eventually he was freed and became a well-known crusader for abolition."
Dreyer’s interest in book leads to PBS documentary
"It was a sentence in a book, in the second to last paragraph, that piqued David Dreyer’s curiosity. Ten years later, Dreyer’s search to answer questions left open in the book “A Prince Among Slaves,” by Terry Alford, led him to appear in a documentary that will air on PBS Feb. 4."
Prince Among Slaves
"Abdul Rahman’s remarkable story will soon air on public television for the first time – and, as its producers hope, may also foster awareness of a positive Muslim figure outside of current political conflicts. Beyond his religion, this story also illuminates the tremendous capacity of a human being to endure, hope, struggle and prevail."