08 November 2008


After my encounter with Lawrence Hill's Book of Negroes, I felt so engrossed in the tribulations of the colored people that I was compelled to venture further and read The Amistad written by David Pesci. The book was already translated into a movie directed by Steven Spielberg starring big names as Anthony Hopkins and Morgan Freeman. I finished reading it, coincidentally, on the day of the US Presidential elections, with Barack Obama winning by a landslide. The first Black (half) president of the United States of America.

Ironically, the name of the schooner, Amistad, meant friendship and yet was utilized to transport the Blacks from one port to the next. And, unlike Aminata Diallo, the protagonist of The Book of Negroes, the blacks in the Amistad, headed by Singbe, later to be called Joseph Cinque, didn't respond kindly to the threats of the slave owners and thus planned and caused a mutiny, killing most of the crew and leaving the slave traders and their young assistant alive. Since the Blacks cannot maneuver the ship, the were eventually scooped out of sea by the Americans who debated whether or not they are to be treated as free men.

This story occurred years after Aminata Diallo has established herself as a fluent and remarkable citizen in London. The Freetown was already present in Africa, but was not sufficient to hinder the acts of slavery happening within the continent. Although there were plenty of countries that have pledged against this abhorred abduction of men, there were some, like Spain, who have not seen its inhumane gravity against their convenience.

With the election of Obama into presidency, it illustrates how these men of color have moved on from their shady, disrespected past into becoming one of the most powerful people in the world. I don't believe that people in the 1800's could possibly fathom such an occurrence as what has just transpired in the last few days. In the course of a century, women have finally found voice in society and the Blacks have gained their due equality with the Whites. Though there are still pockets of people protesting against it, I believe the situation has improved dramatically and hopefully continue to do so in the years to come.

1 comment:

Chachoy said...

Give us free!!!