Newsmaker: Rediker Discusses The Amistad Rebellion

Issue Date: 
December 10, 2012


Pitt Distinguished Professor of Atlantic History Marcus Rediker discussed his new book, The Amistad Rebellion (Viking-Penguin, 2012) on Nov. 15 at the University Club. The book tells the human story behind the takeover of the Amistad, a Spanish slave schooner that was commandeered in 1839 by a group of African slaves who broke free from their shackles below the ship’s deck. The schooner was eventually captured by the U.S. Navy, and the slaves’ legal case for freedom followed. In a landmark U. S. Supreme Court ruling, they were liberated and allowed to return to their native Sierra Leone. In his book, Rediker draws upon previously unknown evidence—letters about the lives of the Amistad rebels back in Africa and their own oral histories of the rebellion—to draw fresh portraits of the people who changed the very nature of the struggle against slavery. Rediker’s talk was followed by a book signing. (Photo by Tom Altany)