by William A. Owens introduced by Derrick Bell and Michael E. Dyson
Originally published in 1953, Black Mutiny remains one of the most detailed accounts of the Amistad revolt. In 1839, under the leadership of Cinque, the enslaved Mendi aboard the schooner Amistad killed the ship's captain and took control of the vessel in a valiant attempt to regain their freedom. Cinque's attempts to guide the ship back to Africa were thwarted by surviving members of the Amistad's crew. The schooner was seized off the coast of New York by the U.S. Navy, and Cinque and his comrades quickly became the source of a national debate over slavery and its abolition. For two years, the debate raged in local courts, eventually moving to the Supreme Court, where President Van Buren and former President John Quincy Adams found themselves on opposites sides of the controversy. As the arguments were heard, the country watched and waited to see what the Africans' fate would be. Essentially, both Bell and Dyson observe that the difficult questions raised by the Amistad story are far from being resolved as the nation continues its struggle to truly become a land with justice and liberty for all. The republication of this important work provides a wonderful opportunity for dialogue in communities around the world where the spirit of Cinque lives on in men and women actively pursuing liberation.
Hardcover: 322 pages