|Cultures presents two versions of the mutiny aboard the slave ship La Amistad, plus news and contest information.|
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"In Spring 1839, in the Mende country of West Africa, a man named Mayagilalo owed money, and could not pay it. By the strict rules of debt he could become the slave of his creditor -- or he could kidnap a man from a different village and sell him to those who supplied the Spanish slave trade on the coast. For Mayagilalo, the choice was easy..." More in the Summary of Events at CAB's African American Web Links.
"Amistad," the opera, with music by Anthony Davis and libretto by his cousin Thulani Davis, had its world premiere in December at Chicago's Civic Opera House.
The Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute presents the historical and chronological background of the Amistad revolt, the complete text of John Quincy Adam's argument before the Supreme Court and information on Barbara Chase Riboud's plagiarism suit against Steven Spielberg and the makers of the motion picture "Amistad".
More legal background on the Amistad case, including the opinion of the Supreme Court in United States v. The Amistad (March 9, 1841), is available from The National Archives and Records Administration.
A somewhat outdated but comprehensive report entitled "Mutiny and the Bounty - A $10 Million Lawsuit over the Roots of Amistad Threatens Steven Spielberg's Long-Awaited Slave Ship Drama" is posted at Entertainment Weekly Online.
In a Time Magazine review, film critic Richard Schickel analyzes the graphic depiction of inhumanity which opens Steven Spielberg's film about the Amistad rebellion. He finds that Spielberg's approach not only makes it clear that the mutineers were justified in murdering their captors but "signals the director's intention to ignore the principle--lofty sentiments excusing clunky filmmaking--upon which most morally instructive movie epics are built. "
Rev. Peter J. Smith of the First Congregational Church, Thomaston, Connecticut takes justifiable pride in the fact that his church raised money for the Amistad captives in 1840. And after the Africans returned home, First Congregational united with other churches who saw that "the need for setting the captives free had only begun". Together they formed the American Missionary Association (see next link).
The Amistad Research Center at Tulane University is one of the nation's premier minority repositories. Named after the famed revolt by Africans on La Amistad in 1839 and landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, the Amistad was organized by the Race Relations Department of Fisk University and the American Missionary Association in 1966.
AMISTAD America Inc. is a not-for-profit educational organization formed to promote the project to build a replica of La Amistad. Members include Mystic Seaport, the Amistad Committee, Amistad Affiliates, the Connecticut Afro-American Historical Society and other interested individuals.
And as suggested by researcher Amy Coleman, the Majlessi law firm website offers a wealth of information on the two cases involving the Amistad.