Friday, August 31, 2007

Amistad arrives in Bristol UK

A replica of the 19th Century slave trading ship Amistad has arrived in Bristol (UK) after a 48-day voyage across the Atlantic. Two students from the city have been on board helping commemorate the ending of the slave trade 200 years ago.

The Amistad is now moored in the basin opposite the Arnolfini arts centre. It left Connecticut in America on 21 June and will pick up a fresh crew in Bristol before continuing on to Sierra Leone in West Africa.

Amistad in Bristol The 16-month tour retraces the slave trade triangle

Bristol students Saphra Ross, 20, and Nadia Waithe, 22, crewed during the transatlantic leg of the 16-month, 14,000-mile Amistad Atlantic Freedom Tour.

"For me, this voyage represented freedom, not slavery", said Miss Waithe.

"It showed the courage and resilience of the slaves."

John Kamara - Amistad's deckhand and native of Sierra Leone triumphantly showing the Sierra Leonean colors while the Freedom Schooner sails into Albert Dock in Liverpool.

In 1839, 53 slaves mutinied on board the ship and were captured, but won freedom in a historic legal battle.

The voyage retraces the slave trade "triangle", which saw European traders export manufactured goods to West Africa, where they would be exchanged for slaves from African merchants.

John Prescott and Sankofa College Students 

The slaves were then transported across the Atlantic and sold for huge profits in the Americas.

The story was depicted in the 1997 film Amistad directed by Steven Spielberg.

For updated information visit Amistad America website.

BBC NEWS | England | Bristol | Replica slave ship moors in city