Quotes by 12 Years a Slave

12 Years a Slave

Edwin Epps: [bursting into the slaves' quarters in the middle of the night] Get up! Get up, we dance tonight! We will not waste the evenin' with yer laziness. Get up.

12 Years a Slave
Radburn: [brings food in to Solomon; a shriveled piece of meat and some water. Just barely enough to sustain Solomon. Radburn also has a shirt] That old thing of yours is just rags and tatters. Need something proper to wear. Go'won. Put it on. [Solomon reluctantly does so] Radburn: There. Tha's fine. Tha's fine. Got no gratitude? Solomon Northup: ...Thank you. Radburn: Yah keep bein' proper, yah'll see how things work out. [takes Solomon's old shirt] Solomon Northup: No! It was from my wife. Radburn: Rags and tatters. Rags and t
12 Years a Slave

Tibeats: [singing] Nigger run, nigger flew/Nigger tore his shirt in two/Run, run, the pattyroller git you/Run nigger run, well ya better get away. That's right, like you mean it. Nigger run, run so fast/Stove his head in a hornet's nest/Run, run, the pattyroller git you/Run nigger, run, well ya bette git away/Run, nigger, run, the pattyroller git you/Run nigger run, well ya better git away/Some folks say a nigger don't steal/well I caught three in my cornfield/One had a bushel and one had a peck/and one had a rope being hung around his neck/Run nigger run/ the pattyroller git you/Run nigger run, well ya better get away/Hey, Mr. Pattyroller, don't catch me/Catch that nigger behind that tree!/Run nigger run, the pattyroller get you/Run nigger run, well ya better get away.

12 Years a Slave
Radburn: Jus takin' a li'l trip, tha's all. Don't want to frighten the chil'ren none over a li'l boat ride, do yah?
12 Years a Slave

Freeman: Oren. John. Lethe. Eliza. Randall. Emily. Platt... Platt! [Solomon is the only one still seated. He does not respond; Freeman approaches him] Freeman: You fit the description given. Why didn't you answer when called? Solomon Northup: My name is not Platt. My name is... Freeman: [slaps Solomon hard across the face] Your name is Pl

12 Years a Slave
Patsey: I went to Massa Shaw's plantation! Edwin Epps: Ya admit it. Patsey: Freely. And you know why? [she produces a piece of soap from the pocket of her dress] Patsey: I got this from Mistress Shaw. Mistress Epps won't even grant me no soap ta clean with. Stink so much I make myself gag. Five hundred pounds 'a cotton day in, day out. More than any man here. And 'fo that I will be clean; that all I ax. Dis here what I went to Shaw's 'fo. Edwin Epps: You lie... Patsey: The Lord knows that's all. Edwin Epps: You lie! Patsey: And you blind wit yer own covetousness. I don't lie, Massa. If you kill me, I'll stick ta that. Edwin Epps: Oh, I'll fetch you down. I'll learn you to go to Shaw's. I'll take the starch outta ya. Treach, go get s
12 Years a Slave

Chapin: [Tibeats and a gang are trying to lynch Solomon] Gentlemen... Whoever moves that nigger another foot from where he stands is a dead man. I am overseer of this plantation seven years, and in the absence of William Ford, my duty is to protect his interests. Ford holds a mortgage on Platt of four hundred dollars. If you hang him, he loses his debt. Until that is canceled you have no claim to his life. [to Ramsay and Cook] Chapin: As for you two, if you have any regard for your own safety... I say, begon

12 Years a Slave
Solomon Northup: [Epps has just whipped Patsey within an inch of her life] Thou devil! Sooner or later, somewhere in the course of eternal justice thou shalt answer for this sin! Edwin Epps: No sin! There is no sin! A man does how he pleases with his property. At the moment, Platt, I am of great pleasure. You be goddamn careful I don't come to wantin' to lightenin' my mood no further
12 Years a Slave

Edwin Epps: "And that servant which knew his Lord's will... which knew his Lord's will and prepared not himself... prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes..." D'ye hear that? "Stripes." That nigger that don't take care, that don't obey his lord - that's his master - d'ye see? - that 'ere nigger shall be beaten with many stripes. Now, "many" signifies a great many. Forty, a hundred, a hundred and fifty lashes... That's Scripter!

12 Years a Slave
Bass: The law says you have the right to hold a nigger, but begging the law's pardon... it lies. Is everything right because the law allows it? Suppose they'd pass a law taking away your liberty and making you a slave? Edwin Epps: Ha! Bass: Suppose! Edwin Epps: That ain't a supposable case. Bass: Because the law states that your liberties are undeniable? Because society deems it so? Laws change. Social systems crumble. Universal truths are constant. It is a fact, it is a plain fact that what is true and right is true and right for all. White and black al