It’s a true story that has the aura of myth. A young African prince is sold into slavery in 1788. After 40 years of enslavement, he gains his freedom and the first city he visits on his historic journey back to Africa is Cincinnati.

His name was Prince Abdul Rahman Ibrahima Sori. The Islamic Center of Cincinnati will present the world premiere screening of a new documentary about his life, “Prince Among Slaves,” 6 p.m. Friday at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

The film, directed by Andrea Kalin and co-directed by Emmy Award-winning director Bill Duke, is narrated by actor and hip-hop artist Mos Def. It tells of the prince’s journey from Gambia, in West Africa, to Natchez, Miss., where he eventually became a leader among his fellow slaves and earned the respect of his owner, Thomas Foster, a tobacco farmer. He became the most famous African in America, even attracting the support of President John Quincy Adams.

The 60-minute documentary by Unity Productions Foundation is based on the biography “Prince Among Slaves” by Terry Alford (Oxford University Press). It is expected to air by 2008 on PBS.

Tickets, $25, includes a reception at 5 p.m. and exhibit tour. 513-755-3280 or 513-720-0615.


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