The author has collected an impressive range of documents from written and oral sources in Cuba, the United States and Sierra Leone.
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His detailed narrative relies on the constant analysis of his sources, of their reliability, their interpretation, and their impact on their contemporaries, both of Western and African origin. The facts, as we recall, were popularised in by a Steven Spielberg movie. When she clandestinely sailed away from a Sierra Leone fort —situated in British territory where slave trading had been outlawed since —, the Amistad ship was transporting more than fifty slaves — many of them being of Mende and Temne origins, from the inland.
There were a few women and about ten children, among whom three little girls.
The ship was headed for the slave island of Cuba. The prisoners did not belong to the upper classes of society; some of them were already slaves when they boarded the Amistad.
Frederick Douglass’s Irish odyssey
Born into societies with common cultural traits and religious beliefs, they learnt collective self-organisation from the moment they were led to the factory where they were penned up like cattle. During the dreadful Middle Passage, they developed a very strong bond and they became close companions, cooperating to ensure their survival. Imprisoned for two weeks in the barracoons of La Havana, waiting there to be sold again, they organised themselves and successfully carried out their rebellion on the ship, killing the captain and incapacitating the other sailors.
Then, they somehow succeeded in steering the ship for more than 1, miles, sailing as far as the northern tip of Long Island, where they were imprisoned in New Haven, in the slave-free state of Connecticut. This marked the beginning of a long American story that involved slavery and anti-slavery advocates: journalists, writers, artists that sketched numerous portraits of the rebels, theatre directors that popularised their adventure, lawyers, judges, politicians and citizens from all sides of the political spectrum got involved in their case.
In prison, the detainees learnt to speak English and to read the Bible. Undercurrents of Power. Kevin Dawson.
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The Odyssey of an African Slave - Sitiki - Google книги
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You've successfully reported this review. We appreciate your feedback. OK, close. A revealing autobiography of a remarkable man. Captured and sold into slavery in Africa as a five-year-old, Sitiki travelled to America as a cabin boy. Eventually sold by the ship's captain to Josiah Smith of Savannah, Georgia, he lived there and in Connecticut with his new master.