Health & Family

Story of prince turned slave to open at McGlohon

Def, Duke and drama intersect in a little-known piece of history that's been adapted to film, and it's sailing our way.

“Prince Among Slaves” gets its local premiere Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m. at McGlohon Theatre in Spirit Square, 345 N. College St. This winner of the best documentary prize at the 2007 American Black Film Festival was narrated by singer-actor Mos Def and directed by Bill Duke (“Sister Act 2”).

The setting is 1788, as a slave ship sets sail from the Gambia River in Africa with a cargo of men, women and children headed for the auction block in Mississippi. One, 26-year-old Abdul Rahman Ibrahima, was a prince back in Africa.

This warrior, who spoke three languages and had been a military general, didn't go back for 40 years. He married a fellow slave, had nine children and traveled widely through Northern states. There he addressed white audiences and inspired early abolitionists and freed blacks, working all the time to raise enough money to buy his children out of slavery.

The film, which recreates his story, will be followed by a discussion. Attendance is free, and no reservation is required, but you're asked not to bring children. For details, call 704-992-6537 or go to