Sunday, April 12, 2009

Amistad Reaction

Shenayh Rivera-Melendez
Teaching Divers Populations
Professor A. Navarro
Amistad Brief Reaction Paper

It is movies such as the Amistad which can make one feel ashamed to be an American. How our forefathers ever thought it acceptable to commit such crimes of unspeakable matters of slavery trading and denying people their most fundamental rights as human beings, I will never understand. Such a graphic historical event projected in this movie left me with feelings of anger, angered at the injustice of it all. Such injustice that we have profited from and I find beyond reproach of anyone’s reasoning for it, for there is none. A quote which comes to mind and exemplifies my personal contempt of this historical happening, is that which Abraham Lincoln once spoke, “Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally” (Abraham Lincoln 1865).

I am not one to shed tears when watching movies or procure feeling of anger easily, however, the history of these happenings depicted in the movie, broke my heart. Such graphic scenes as the woman on board the ship who had a baby, and how she chose to fall (with her baby) off the ship and escape into deaths welcoming arms or even gentler scenes such as that when Cinque’s friend (the one with the bible) is explaining to him how “this is where [their] soul goes when they kill [them]… it does not look so bad..” could make even a grown man shed a tear or two.

Contemplations of the historical significance have left me pondering our way of life. If it were not for events or points it time such as the Amistad, would we still be living in an era without civil rights? Moreover, while we have learned from such events, one cannot help but wonder if we could have done without. The lack of acceptance of diverse people has been a fire starter for many wars and revolutions. The lesson to be learned is that the fundamental acceptance of various people is necessary in order to prevent any more such happenings and move forward as humankind.

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