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The Amistad Revolt: Memory, Slavery, and the Politics of Identity in the United States and Sierra Leone

by Osagie, Lyunolu Folaydn A Osagie, Iyunolu Folayan

  • ISBN: 9780820322247
  • ISBN10: 0820322245

The Amistad Revolt: Memory, Slavery, and the Politics of Identity in the United States and Sierra Leone

by Osagie, Lyunolu Folaydn A Osagie, Iyunolu Folayan

  • List Price: $35.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • Publish date: 08/01/2000
  • ISBN: 9780820322247
  • ISBN10: 0820322245
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Description: The story of the 1839 revolt on the Amistad slave-ship gained new prominence with Steven Spielberg's 1997 film, which helped make the American public more aware of how the history of slavery has defined racism in the United States. As Iyunolu Folaydn Osagie shows, the perspective for someone born in Sierra Leone is markedly different. Osagie digs deeply into the story to show the historical and contemporary relevance of the incident and its subsequent trials and how they together contributed to the construction of identity in both Africa and the African American diaspora.

Drawing on newspaper articles, lectures, drama, visual art, and the Spielberg film, Osagie evaluates the relationship between popular art forms, the incident itself, and cultural movements. Osagie shows that the Amistad case generated public sympathy and created a major shift in northern U.S. attitudes toward slavery and that the case played a key role in the construction of a national identity in Sierra Leone, where even the current political situation reflects the Amistad commemoration.

The Amistad Revolt is an intriguing, cross-disciplinary study and the first book-length work of comparative African and American cultural criticism. Offering a wealth of insights to scholars while remaining accessible to general readers, Osagie's study clearly shows how creative arts have confirmed the significance of the Amistad revolt in contemporary racial discourse and in the cultural memories of both countries.

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