Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave is sparking change in America’s public high school curriculum.
According to a press release, the National School Boards Association is partnering with New Regency, Penguin Books and filmmakers to distribute copies of the NAACP Image Award-winning film, original book, and study guide to public high schools across the US.
The new initiative is coordinated by famed talk show host Montel Williams. Sources say 12 Years A Slave, written in 1841 by free Black man-turned-slave Solomon Northup, will be a required teaching tool starting September 2014, the new school year.
“12 Years a Slave is one of the most impactful films in recent memory, and I am honored to have been able to bring together Fox Searchlight and National School Boards Association to maximize its educational potential,” Williams says in a statement. “When Hollywood is at its best, the power of the movies can be harnessed into a powerful educational tool. This film uniquely highlights a shameful period in American history, and in doing so will evoke in students a desire to not repeat the evils of the past while inspiring them to dream big of a better and brighter future, and I’m proud to be a part of that.”
Director McQueen calls the new initiative a dream come true. “Since first reading 12 Years a Slave, it has been my dream that this book be taught in schools,” he reveals. “I am immensely grateful to Montel Williams and the National School Boards Association for making this dream a reality and for sharing Solomon Northup’s story with today’s generation.”
According to NSBA President David A. Pickler, “The National School Boards Association is honored to partner with Fox Searchlight Pictures and Penguin Books to ensure that every public high school student in America has the opportunity to stare the stark realities of slavery in the eye through books and film.”
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Best & Worst Dressed: The 45th NAACP Image Awards
1. Best & Worst Dressed: The 45th NAACP Image Awards
From Kerry Washington's growing baby bump, to Arsenio Hall's epic photobomb--the red carpet for the 45th Annual NAACP Image Awards was such a stylish sight to see. Our favorite starlets called on the best of the best to parade down the carpet tonight. Check out who rocked the red carpet, and who--maybe should have hired (or fired) a stylist.
2. Lupita Nyong'o
BEST! I am really a fan of Lupita--even with that very unfortunate middle part.
3. Naomie Harris
BEST! Naomie wins best dressed in my book. This champagne lace Givenchy gown is walking the red carpet for her.
4. Tika Sumpter
UNDECIDED! I do love this lingerie look but more for a movie premiere or a night out with the boo.
BEST! This black number looks beautiful on Brandy. It's simple, but it's also form-fitting and looks comfortable.
6. Idris Elba
BEST! Do we really have to say anything else?
7. Tatyana Ali
WORST! While an awards show is enough to wear a silver gown, not every silver gown needs to be worn. Tatyana usually looks very polished, but this silver gown with the black fabric in the middle doesn't work. At all.
8. Kerry Washington
WORST! Kerry is usually on point when it comes to her look, but this gown isn't flattering enough for her or her bun in the oven. The color is soft, but the dress looks like a pile of sheets.
9. Regina Hall
BEST! Regina worked this dress from the window to the wall! We can't get enough of the cut out in the front and that loose tale that looks beautiful in the back. Regina stepped it up!
10. Chandra Wilson
WORST! All-black is a safe bet for most, but when you add unique detailing, it can look messy. The detailing on this outfit isn't easy on the eyes.
11. Suki Avery
WORST! We understand why many people choose to layer, but never layer a gown. Although, I'm not sure if this is a complete gown or a strapless dress with a silver blouse?
12. Jennia Fredrique
BEST! I'm here for fashion risky, and trust me, this is risky! The loose detailing on the bottom and low-cut back is dramatic, which is perfect for an award ceremony!
13. China Anne McClain
BEST! China is bringing in the sunshine. The yellow looks radiant against her complexion and the dress is mature, without making her look too old.
14. Jessica Oyelowo and David Oyelowo
BEST! These two look great. The detailing on the front of Jessica's dress is great and David looks quite dapper in this pale grey number.
15. Elise Neal
WORST! The red is a great color choice, but the length of that split? Not so much. Anything more than an inch above the knee can be dangerous.
16. Elise Neal and Arsenio Hall
BEST! Arsenio looks like classic Arsenio in his suit. Hey, if a formula works, why change it?
17. Archie Panjabi
UNDECIDED! This blue number is beautiful on Archie. But, we're not feeling how transparent the dress is. It looks a little too similar to lingerie.
18. Katie Lowes
UNDECIDED! Katie isn't Quinn! This dress is absolutely beautiful, but I wanted to see her add a little more pizazz for this simple black piece. The red lip is nice, but a statement necklace would've made the outfit a little more dressy.
19. Guillermo Diaz
WORST! This could've been a great moment to see Guillermo outside of his role as Huck. But, those wrinkles on his pants ruin the entire look. Not only that, he also has his hands in his pockets. No, Huck!
20. Melissa Grimmond
WORST! This dress is absolutely perfect..for prom. Melissa is too gorgeous for this and I'm pretty sure there are plenty of other gold dresses she could've chosen from.
21. Sidra Smith
WORST! This is way too much going on, Sidra. The busy print is already enough to keep your eyes on the dress. But, that black detailing on the neck and down the front makes the dress frumpy. This isn't working.
22. Darby Stanchfield
BEST! Yessss, Darby! If you're going to have a light complexion similar to her, you can't go wrong with a bold color. This green looks like a jewel and makes her skin and hair look lovely!
23. Beverly Bond
UNDECIDED! The detailing on Beverly's dress is a lovely touch, but I'm not so sure about the neck piece. It could've been removed from it completely.
24. Gayle King
BEST! Gayle looks nothing short of classy in this silver number. It's a great color for her complexion and she's working that pose!
25. Rolonda Watts
WORST! An all-white suit on a woman never goes out of style, but it shouldn't make you appear shorter. Rolonda clearly had the right idea, but this suit makes her look way too tiny for this outfit.
26. Terrence Howard and Miranda Howard
WORST! Terrence looks great in his dark blue suit, but that see-through material on the neck of Mrs. Howard's dress is not the business! The dress would've looked more decent without that or the awkward layer at the front of her dress. Too much!
27. Shvona Lavette
UNDECIDED! While the dress itself has a delicate feminine quality about it -- from the A-line bottom to the see-through top -- we're not too sure about how this is fitting, Shvona. If the dress had a belt to complete the look, it may have given her a nice svelte look.
28. Debra L. Lee
BEST! Debra pulls the stops to look like the main boss she is! This sleek black number is the perfect cut and shape for her frame. Werk, Ms. Lee!
29. Ben Vereen
WORST! We don't mean to be disrespectful or anything, but this suit seems a little outdated, Ben. We're here for you and the confidence you have in this suit (you definitely need it to wear this one), but all-white is not the way to go this time around.
30. Nia Long
WORST! Nia is absolutely gorgeous, but this green number makes her look like she's swimming in fabric. A more tailored fit on this dress would've been the trick.
31. Tyrese Gibson
BEST! Tyrese illustrates the art of wearing a form-fitting suit with a mega-watt smile!
32. Nia Long and Idris Elba
UNDECIDED! While Idris looks nothing short of handsome, Nia is not looking too put together in this photo. We would've liked to have seen her in a sleeker look.
33. Wendy Raquel Robinson
BEST! Wendy looks stunning in this blue gown! We see those lovely curves!
34. Tyler Perry
UNDECIDED! While the black-and-blue combo is a classic statement on Tyler, I'm unsure of the fit. Maybe, keeping the button unopen would've been better?
35. Michael Ealy
BEST! Honestly, Michael can do no wrong in our eyes. This all-black tux looks sharp and classy on him. Perfect for this occasion.