Steve McQueen Dedicated His “12 Years a Slave” Best Pic Oscar to Victims of Modern-Day Slavery

Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

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The powerful drama 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture at the 2014 Academy Awards. During his acceptance speech, director Steve McQueen dedicated the award to the tens of millions of people still in slavery today:

Everyone deserves not just to survive, but to live. This is the most important legacy of Solomon Northup. I dedicate this award to all the people who have endured slavery, and the 21 million people who still suffer slavery today.

Some estimates put the number at 30 million. McQueen is a patron of Anti-Slavery International and met with US ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power to discuss the fight against modern-day slavery. McQueen also made the point of 21 million modern-day slaves during an acceptance speech for best film at the BAFTAs.

Here’s video (via Time) of McQueen’s Oscar speech and 12 Years a Slave‘s big win:

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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