‘He is said, however, to have killed the captain and crew with his own hand, by cutting their throats … He expects to be executed, but nevertheless manifests a sang froid worthy of a Stoic under similar circumstances.’
New York Journal of Commerce (30 August, 1839)
Sengbe Pieh, also known as Joseph Cinqué, working a nail loose from the ship’s deck, unlocked his chains and went on to set free 52 fellow African slaves, upon the Spanish slave ship, La Amistad, today in 1839.
Sparing the lives of three sailors, Pieh ordered them to sail in the direction of the rising of the sun, or eastward towards Africa. But the Spanish sailors navigated westward, drifting off course and eventually reaching the US coastline where the ship was retaken.
The Africans, who were charged with murder, were defended by ex-President John Quincy Adams. He contended that they should be granted their freedom because they had only exercised their natural rights to escape illegal enslavement. In 1841, the Supreme Court freed them and they returned to Africa.
Even worse than failing to win office would be winning it while unprepared for the realities of government. Christine Berry considers what Labour needs to do to avoid the fate of Syriza in Greece
The Conservative Party is in a process of ideological decline or even disintegration, argue James Butler and Richard Seymour.
Landry Ninteretse and Ian Rivera share perspectives from Kenya and the Philippines and call for universal energy systems that are clean and renewable, public and decentralised
Red Pepper’s picks of The World Transformed festival, in Brighton from 21-24 September
Winning elections is not enough. To transform society we need to involve the people in policy making, argue Kerem Dikerdem and Annie Quick
Chloe Tomlinson lays out the battle lines for a more egalitarian, democratic and holistic education system. Essential reading ahead of The World Transformed education sessions
As a US-friendly no-deal Brexit inches closer, Bonnie Castillo of National Nurses United explains why US nurses have joined the fight against NHS privatisation. Recommended reading ahead of The World Transformed health sessions