THE AMISTAD SLAVE REVOLT AND AMERICAN ABOLITION by Karen Zeinert

THE AMISTAD SLAVE REVOLT AND AMERICAN ABOLITION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Zeinert takes on the improbable story of how 53 Africans from Sierra Leone were captured, sold into slavery, and while en route to Cuba on the Spanish ship Amistad, revolted and ended up in Connecticut. The Africans spoke no English; slavery was widespread in the US; still, the abolitionists took up the cause and carried the case all the way to the Supreme Court. The Africans were eventually freed and returned home. Zeinert (The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, 1993, etc.) offers an exciting account of the injustice done to these men, women, and children, beginning with the capture of Cinque, 25, in 1839, because ""he had been unable to pay off a debt on time."" The author dwells not only on Cinque's bravery, but on the many incidents on board the Amistad that made a mutiny possible, John Quincy Adams's extraordinary legal arguments, and the Supreme Court's ruling that ""all human beings have a right to fight for their freedom."" Readers will come away with an understanding of just how important a victory the Amistad affair was for American abolitionists. This book also provides a window on a rare group of ""slaves,"" those who actually saw their homeland again.

Pub Date: May 15th, 1997
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Linnet/Shoe String