Steve McQueen Dedicated His “12 Years a Slave” Best Pic Oscar to Victims of Modern-Day Slavery

Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

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The powerful drama 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture at the 2014 Academy Awards. During his acceptance speech, director Steve McQueen dedicated the award to the tens of millions of people still in slavery today:

Everyone deserves not just to survive, but to live. This is the most important legacy of Solomon Northup. I dedicate this award to all the people who have endured slavery, and the 21 million people who still suffer slavery today.

Some estimates put the number at 30 million. McQueen is a patron of Anti-Slavery International and met with US ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power to discuss the fight against modern-day slavery. McQueen also made the point of 21 million modern-day slaves during an acceptance speech for best film at the BAFTAs.

Here’s video (via Time) of McQueen’s Oscar speech and 12 Years a Slave‘s big win:

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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