The true story of the enslavement of the heir to an African Kingdom, Prince Among Slaves follows Abdul Rahman from his capture in Africa and grueling middle passage across the ocean into a life of bondage in America.
First destined to be a leader in his father’s kingdom, in a cruel twist of fate, the highly educated young prince found himself instead toiling on a Mississippi plantation. Never wavering in his belief that freedom was his birthright, Abdul Rahman finally re-claimed it forty years on, and soon became the most famous African in America, meeting with President John Quincy Adams and other leading luminaries, before returning at last to the continent of his birth.
A collaboration with Unity Productions Foundation, and narrated by Mos Def, Prince Among Slaves paints a vivid picture of the extraordinary times in which an extraordinary man lived, interweaving the universal themes of bondage and deliverance, pride and forbearance, guile and providence.
Release Date: February 2008, Prime Time PBS
"They sold me to slave traders on an English ship for two flasks of powder, some muskets, eight twists of tobacco, and two bottles of rum. " Abdul Rahman
Spark Media helped organize community screenings of the film, and participated in accompanying Q&A sessions, including a screening at Howard University. Director Andrea Kalin also hosted a free classroom screening at Northern Virginia Community College with Professor Terry Alford, the author of “Prince Among Slaves,” and fielded questions from his students afterwards.
As part of the outreach program, Spark Media also participated in the film’s web development, and created two important sections for the site: “Written in the Stars,” which tracked many of the famous luminaries in early America and how their paths intertwined with Prince Abdul Rahman; and “Rooted in the Past,” devoted to genealogist David Dreyer’s quest to locate and reunite the modern descendents of Abdul Rahman from the United States and Guinea.
Alexander Kronemer and Michael Wolfe
Andrea Kalin and Raki Jones
Robin Coblyn and James Mirabello
Jeffrey Pratt Gordon
Diana Moss and Karen Simon
Director of Recreations:
2008 Paul Robeson Award
Best Documentary, American Black Film Festival
Best Film, Mid-Atlantic Black Film Festival
Intermedia Globe Gold Medal, World Media Festival
ITVS Peer Awards
CINE Golden Eagle Award