We’ve all heard about the film 12 years a slave , I won’t be surprised to know that majority of us have not or do not know about the originality of the story. We had the most valuable and rare opportunity to have a hold onto the real stories you’ve not heard. Not just from anyone but right direct from the source.
Frank Eakin is the publisher and son of Dr Sue Eakin a young girl at 12 who was the only one to rediscover the original memoir of Solomon Northup who penned the only authentic and most original story of what happened during slavery. Since the mum is gone, and Frank is the only one who had a direct connection with the book and is the publisher of this sterling book, we had the honour to get the untold out for you. This story is very important to us and to humanity in general, for some, it could mean justice for them, while some it will could be a source of healing for them, or just an awareness point . Not about race or prejudice but the true facts are laid deep in this interview. You may want to sit back and enjoy it while it last .
C.Hub magazine : Tell me when your mum picked this book from the plantation, and decided to make it her life time project, what really was her motivation?
Frank Eakin – Right, let me walk you through to answer that. She rediscovered the book at the age of 12, she finds the book when she was at LS UNI Louisiana, wrote her masters thesis about it and spent the next decades researching it before she published the first modern edition in 1968. Two things her motivation was, she felt there were relatively few researchers and writers about writing about Black history. She felt it was vital story that must be told in order to help bring together the races , to bridge the racial divide in our state and our nation. 12 years a slave to her was most compelling account of 19th century slavery and slave experience, African Americans experience during that era to help tell that story.
C.Hub Magazine : There is this kind of suspicion among Black people thinking what is this guy up to and there is a kind of resentment from White people , why is this guy trying to expose us?
Frank Eakin – Are you making a statement or have you heard from people , or are you asking me , is that the case?
C.Hub magazine – I have heard it from people , it was one of the things that came up …
Frank Eakin – Which people are you speaking of , are you speaking of people in Britain or the USA. I’m just curious . Who are having this feeling who are they?
C.Hub magazine – Ok lets say its Black people on that side of thinking , why will it be a White guy that is telling us this story , what is his motive.
Frank Eakin – I’m curious who is saying that, I’ve never heard of that . I want to know the audience that are saying that, you’re saying your colleagues in the UK when you’re discussing the book …,
Well, this issue has never come up. My mother tells this story from 1940 , about her advocacy of Afro-Americans. She was local civil rights leader. She went through a lot . As you may know, our house was burnt down twice , people know of my mother’s history , our family history and as family not just my mother but my Dad, my Grandparents were leaders in National Methodist Church. In writing about racial relationships they were trying to bridge the racial divide . They were prominent people in battling racism. So people here are aware of family long history and advocating for Black , African Americans. That is why the issue has never come up, they know where our heart is and I don’t know if that answers your question . But it is not an issue anyone who understands history , understands my motivation; that is trying to do good and advocate for African Americans to bring the races together so that our children will live in a better world.
C.Hub magazine – As of that time when your mother was doing that, did people really understand where she was coming from?
Frank Eakin – I don’t know, that was of course before I was born , when she first started . I was very young during civil right days. All I can say is what we hear from her, from her own words. Definitely the White in our community did not understand otherwise our house would not have been burnt in our yard and wouldn’t have caused a spiral when she simply arranged for Black choir to sing during segregation. So did the White understand what she was doing? No. Did Blacks appreciate my mother , honestly she’s like an icon in our area because she stood up in a courageous way . At the time it was dangerous to do that.
…, Watch out for the full hard knock questions on this topic coming up on C.Hub magazine next issue out April 2nd. You can pre order your copies now – firstname.lastname@example.org