Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA) is an organization committed Muslims issues and concerns that especially impact indigenous Muslims—issues and concerns that we feel have been largely neglected. With the launch of this web site we are inviting masjids, organizations and individuals to join MANA.
PBS Presents “Prince Among Slaves”: The True Story of An African Prince Enslaved In The American South
For Immediate Release: November 15, 2007 – On Monday, February 4, 2008 at 10:00 PM (check local listings), the National Black Programming Consortium will present on PBS, Prince Among Slaves, a one-hour documentary film on the inspiring story of an African prince who survived 40 years of enslavement in America before finally regaining his freedom and becoming one of the most famous men of his day.
Winner of the Best Documentary at the 2007 American Black Film Festival, this true story is told through feature-film styled reenactments directed by Andrea Kalin and Emmy® Award-winner, Bill Duke, through contemporary artworks, archival letters and diaries, as well as through on-camera interviews with distinguished scholars and experts. Artfully narrated by actor and hip-hop Mos Def, Prince Among Slaves is based on Dr. Terry Alford’s biography of the same name.
Prince Among Slaves tells the compelling true story of Abdul-Rahman, an African Muslim Prince who was captured in 1788 and sold into slavery in the American South. He endured the horrific Middle Passage, and ended up the “property” of a poor and nearly illiterate planter named Thomas Foster from Natchez Mississippi. He remained enslaved for 40 years before finally regaining his freedom under dramatic circumstances, becoming one of the most famous men of his day, and returning back to Africa with his royal status acknowledged. The film ends with a family reunion between Abdul-Rahman’s African and American descendents in Natchez, Mississippi.
“Abdul-Rahman survived the harsh ordeals of slavery through his love of family and his deep abiding faith,” says Co-Executive Producer Michael Wolfe. ”The film depicts a universal story of perseverance and hope. Abdul endured unimaginable indignities and faced immeasurable odds, yet managed to survive his long fall from royalty with character and integrity intact.”
“I was immediately attracted to this story because of its powerful message,” re-enactment director and supervisory producer Bill Duke says. “Too many people continue to be enslaved by poverty, drugs, and bad decisions. But like Abdul-Rahman, they can come out of it, and regain their dignity and respect.”
The film contains insight from a distinguished and diverse group of experts such as Terry Alford, whose historical biography inspired the film; best selling journalist and popular historian, Adam Hochschild; K. Anthony Appiah, professor of philosophy at Princeton University; the late novelist, Bebe Moore Campbell; Sylviane A. Diouf, renowned scholar and author; Michael Gomez, Professor of History at NYU; historian, David S. Dreyer; Artemus Gaye, living descendant of Abdul-Rahman; and Hamza Yusuf Hanson and Zaid Shakir, Islamic scholars at the Zaytuna Institute.
The documentary film is supported by a comprehensive Web site princeamongslaves.tv that includes in-depth information about the life of Abdul-Rahman and details about local film screenings happening across the United States in advance of the PBS broadcast premiere. The Web site, which launched earlier this fall highlights special behind-the-scenes interviews with narrator, Mos Def and reenactment director, Bill Duke. The site will also feature profiles on prominent individuals who played a role in the developments throughout Abdul-Rahman’s life, backgrounds on the actors and executives involved with the production, and special introductory clips about the film.
Prince Among Slaves is a production of Unity Productions Foundation (UPF) in association with Spark Media, Inc. and Duke Media. Major funding for the film was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The film was executive produced by UPF’s Michael Wolfe and Alex Kronemer. It was produced, directed and written by Andrea Kalin co-produced by Raki Jones
About Unity Productions Foundation Unity Productions Foundation (UPF) is a non-profit educational foundation working to promote peace and understanding through the media. Its mission is to create documentaries, feature films and educational products that contribute to ending the clash of civilizations. UPF’s first project, Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet, aired nationally on PBS on December 18, 2002 and was awarded a 2004 Cine Award for Best Professional Documentary in its category. Its recent Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain has won several awards, including Best Documentary at the 2007 ITVA Peer awards and Goldie Awards.
When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way.