Alfre Woodard stands between her son, Duncan, and husband, Roderick, at the premiere of 12 Years a Slave in Los Angeles. The actress smiles from ear to ear as her family supports her endeavors to share a bit of American history that is often ignored.


Woodard recently told media that she thinks that it is necessary to keep the concept of slavery in the United States fresh in the memory of its citizens. “We were a slave economy longer than we’ve been anything else,” explained the star. “Once we accept it, black people, white people, brown people, everybody will be able to say, ‘Oh, OK. That’s what it is.’ It’s like having a great family secret that was awful and beautiful at the same time told to you when you get to be 11 years old, you suddenly feel, ‘OK, I’m real. I get it.'”

Although some would prefer that their children not watch a film about slavery and its brutal effects, Alfre told the press that she welcomed the opportunity to view the movie with her kids. “My children are 19 and 22, and when they see it, I want to sit next to them. But I think children are ready to see this at 11. … Just think back when you were 12. You knew a lot more than you let on to your parents, to people around you. And our kids are exposed to so much more. … And you’re never too young for the truth.”

Alfre and Roderick have two kids, Duncan and Mavis, together. 12 Years a Slave makes its public debut on October 18, 2013.

Photos: Pr Photos



Sarie is a writer and editor for BCK's Los Angeles division. She also shares stories on Medium that are meant to encourage thought and discussion. You can catch her outside enjoying nature and classical literature. Pop culture is pretty fun, too!

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