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AmistadThe Movie Essay Research Paper AmistadBeing an

Amistad(The Movie) Essay, Research Paper


Being an African American male, I have been told somewhat the story about

slavery. I mean of course I have been told of the Martin Luther Kings, the Malcolm

Xs, and the Rosa Parks and the many struggles and life threatening obstacles they

went through for all blacks to become free from opression. Before watching the

movie Amistad, I never really knew of the boat rides, the chaining of women and

men together and putting boulders at the end of the ropes and throwing the boulders

over the edge of the boat drowning many. Just because I did not know about these

different situations, I can’t and will not blame anyone else. I never really asked or

took it upon myself to learn what went on with my own people. After reviewing

certain scenes from the movie Amistad, directed by Steven Spilberg, it made me

angry, wondering why they waited so long to make a movie about the real story of

how they miss treated slaves during the Middle Passage. After I thought about it I

know what took so long, they(the white people) never really wanted us to know.

Amistad was a story about a slave named Cinque, and his fight for freedom in

a white world. It showed the abuse that slave took from whitemen for no reason.

Many of them were taken from their homes and forced onto a ship below the deck

were they received little food and were chained together. See this action really

upsets me. They never bothered any Spaniards, but they felt could make money off

of them. Sadly I watched beautiful African American women were being drowned

because they served no purpose to the sailors. The only reason they kept the

women is for breeding. They also drowned the weak and the sick. They felt that

they would serve any purpose to the buyers if they were weak. They only bred the

strong to produce strong. Some of the slaves were taken their own lives. A woman,

holding her new born child, jump off the side of the boat. She rather die than spend

her life in slavery or being killed by the whiteman. Not many of the slaves that were

aboard the Amistad were not accounted for. Many of the slaves were killed and

thrown overboard. Cinque was one of the few that survived and told his story to


At first. Cinque did not know if he could trust his lawyer because he was

white and he did not understand a word that they were saying. He sat in court

playing attention really hard to see if he could understand. finally they got him a

translator so they could talk to him and he could talk to the court. Sitting in jail one

night, another slave had an copy of a bible. They were flipping through the pages

looking at the pictures. While they were looking the other slave was explaining to

Cinque about the pictures. The pictures revealed the story of Jesus. When they

won the case the slaves were happy and the slave held the bible up. At the end

when it was all over, Cinque and his fellow African American were allowed to go

home. The Supreme Court let them go back to their home land. When arriving at

home they were faced with the bad news that their friends and many of their family

members had been killed. I do not know how I would deal with coming home from

a long fight for freedom and finding out that all my friends and relatives were dead.

I would feel real cheated out of my life if I was taken from my country and my

children and wife had been killed.

Here at Howard University he had the honor to say we had a part in helping

Amistad get to the big screen. Debbie Allen was the lady that set out to find a

director and produce the movie. I am glad she set out on the mission to get this

movie on the big screen. She was also given the honor to co-produce and to

co-direct the movie beside Steven Spilberg. She did a great job in my eyes of telling

the story of the Middle Passage.

They were only as good as its cast. Djimon Honsou played the best role I

have ever seen him display. He took the job of learning another language and taking

some abuse. He should have won an award for his performance but he did not. Just

another African American not given any credit for his hard work. Morgan Freemen

also played a big role as a person that help abolis slavery. Even though the slaves

thought he was white because he could not speak the language, he was still set out

to help them.

Thank you for introducing and finally making it understood what really went

on. I finally know how bad we were miss treated. Now I feel like I and others who

do not know all that they need to know about the middle passage need to take upon

ourselves to learn this information. Many people died to give me and many others

of my kind the right to sit in the classrooms I sit in everyday so that I may learn

what I don’t know and much more. Now I pay real close attention when history

about African American is being taught.