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Are Slave Narratives an Important Part of History?

If Solomon Northup had not written 12 Years a Slave, how would anyone today know about his story?  Is it important for people today to know what happened to him?  Why, or why not?

Is it more or less valuable to learn Solomon's story from his personal narrative?  Could an author who did not experience what Northup experienced write an equally compelling, believable account?


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