Chase-Riboud gives a historical-fiction account of the slave trade and tells the story of one group of individuals who beat incredible odds and changed the course of American history. Joseph Cinque and 53 other Africans are captured and shipped to America on the Amistad, a slave ship. Seeing the chance for revolt, the men take over the ship while still at sea; when they land in America, the survivors are treated as barbarians and charged with murder and piracy. They are imprisoned for years, eventually acquitted, then re-imprisoned and tried in the Supreme Court, eloquently defended by former President John Quincy Adams in what becomes a landmark, history-making case. Cinque finally returns to his homeland, where a staggering realization hits him: Destroyed by years of the slave trade, his homeland no longer is "home."
This report prepared by Cindy Dashnaw