Uh-oh - 12 Years a Slave's white folks mad:
“Hollywood Villain? No, Our Slave-Owning Great-Grandfather Was The Very Model Of Morality, Claim Family Outraged By Benedict Cumberbatch’s Portrayal In ’12 Years A Slave.’”
Mad at the truth:
William Prince Ford’s wife, Martha Tanner, was one of my great-great-great-great aunts, so I imagine that should qualify me just as much as anyone else to speak on this: William Prince Ford was a slave owner. He spent $1,000 purchasing a human being that he knew or should have known or suspected to be legally free.
I don’t know why anyone in Central Louisiana would try to defend him. Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance in the film was balanced; Ford didn’t come across as evil or depraved; he came across as ambivalent and passive, gentle but not assertive, “moral” (insofar as it related to his Baptist faith) but certainly not ethical.
I also don’t know who Charles Neal of the Louisiana History Museum is, but I know he’s completely wrong: Solomon Northup was not “treated like family.” He was enslaved by William Prince Ford; he was forced to live in squalor and forced to work long hours. He was nearly murdered at Ford’s home by one of Ford’s employees. “Like family?” Right?