La Amistad

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La Amistad

By | Feb. 2013
Page 1 of 4
LA Amistad is a movie depicting the tale of many Africans who were taken from their homes and sold into slavery. The Africans of “La Amistad” had been among five or six hundred Africans purchased by a Portuguese slave from Pedro Blanco, who operated a notorious slave factory on the island of Lomboko, south of Freetown. They had been brought from Africa on board the Portuguese slaver “Tecora” to Havana, where they were moved under cover of darkness to a prison outside the city and advertised for sale. Ruiz and Montes purchased the fifty-three slaves and transferred them to “La Amistad” before setting sail from Havana. The Africans, and the protagonist of the film, Cinque, was trying to free himself from his chains. He and his fellow slaves managed to get control of the ship by killing many of the cruise men living two of them alive to guide then back to Africa. They made the grueling voyage, known as the middle passage, from West Africa to Cuba. From Cuba, they boarded another ship known as “La Amistad,” but this time, Cinque was able to launch a revolt. After the Africans had taken over the boat, they ordered the Spanish sailors to bring them back to Africa. However, the sailors fooled them, and sailed towards the United States, where an American ship rescued the Spaniards and brought “La Amistad” back to Connecticut, where the Africans were tried for their revolts. They fought hard to stay alive, but unfortunately they found themselves in the strange waters of in America and charged with murder. Their fate lied in the hands of a real estate and property lawyer Roger Baldwin, who had to prove that these men are from Africa and were illegally stolen in to slavery. Many parties, including the American sailors, the Spanish crew of “La Amistad,” and the abolitionists were all attempting to sway the case in their favor. Perhaps the most important aspect of the plot was that it was illegal at the time to sell native Africans into slavery. This was the...