Ghosts of Amistad: In the Footsteps of the Rebels

About This Episode


Based on Marcus Rediker’s "The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom," the documentary chronicles a trip made by academics and historians to Sierra Leone in May of 2013 as they retrace the path of the 53 Africans who rebelled against their captors and seized the slave schooner Amistad in 1839, leading to a watershed US Supreme Court decision. Their goal: to visit the 10 villages where the Amistad rebels once lived; interview the elders about their history and how the incident is remembered; and search for the long-lost ruins of Lomboko, the slave trading factory where the Amistad Africans were incarcerated and loaded onto a slave ship bound for the New World.

By interviewing local villagers, fishermen and truck drivers, and accessing their oral accounts, Ghosts of Amistad: In the Footsteps of the Rebels aims to recover the lost history of the Amistad insurrection, told from a seldom-voiced perspective in the historical struggle against slavery.