If only Emancipation actually had a memorable message. Despite a committed cast and stunning cinematography, the film’s script is too blunt and the direction too ham-fisted to make it anything more than another rote entry in the slavery-movie genre.
There was slavery in Illinois for more than 100 years. Even after Illinois entered the Union, loopholes in its laws allowed the practice to continue, making the future Land of Lincoln a quasi-slave state.
As we contribute to the fight for workers’ rights and to build worker power, we are clear that the origins of the U.S. labor movement start with enslaved African people and their descendants struggling for emancipation.
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