Marcus Mitchell
In 1788 a slave-ship set sail from West Africa, its berth laden with a profitable but fragile cargo: hundreds of men, women and children bound in chains and headed for American shores. Eight months later the survivors were sold in Natchez, Mississippi. Among them was the 26-year-old Abdul Rahman Sori, heir to the throne of one of the largest kingdoms in Africa.
Captured in an ambush, he was sold to English slavers for a few muskets and some rum. After enduring the brutal Middle Passage to America, he was purchased by a struggling Mississippi farmer named Thomas Foster. Foster hoped that the strong African would help establish his farm.
 Sustained by his deep faith and drawing from his well-honed intellect, Abdul Rahman applied his leadership abilities and knowledge about crops such as cotton to help Foster eventually become one of the wealthiest men in Mississippi. In the meantime, Abdul Rahman married an American-born enslaved woman, and together they had nine children.
The story of Abdul Rahman Sori, told above, is taken from the promotional materials for the documentary, “Prince Among Slaves,” which premiered on PBS 2008.  Did it have a happy ending? Read the rest of it here
This compelling documentary will be shown at the Princeton Public Library on Monday, December 5, at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Room. Two guests will contribute to the evening, including Terry Alford, who wrote the biography, and  Kwame Anthony Appiah, the Laurence S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University. A native of Ghana, he has a PhD from Cambridge University, and his interests include political and moral theory, the philosophy of language and mind, and African intellectual history.
Not in Our Town Princeton will postpone its usual “first Monday” session of  “Continuing Conversations on Race.” Instead, everyone is urged to attend this documentary.  Refreshments will be served. 

Co-sponsored by the library, Unity Productions and Not In Our Town Princeton, this program is funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.