Professor of History at Columbia University Eric Foner discusses the new study guide by the producers of the film "Amistad." Though Foner finds the film "interesting historical(ly)" he is critical of the guide because of it's inaccuracies. Foner says the guide "erases the distinction between fact and fabrication," using composite characters instead of real ones, and that the guide misrepresents the significance of the Amistad incident. (Foner's editorial about this appeared on The New York Times Op-Ed page, December 20, 1997)
Iyunolu Osagie (EE-yewn-oh-lu oh-SAW-GEE-ay) an Assistant Professor of English at Penn State University in Pennsylvania. She has researched and written the events of the Amistad slave rebellion and the trial that followed. She is a native of Sierra Leone where the Amistad story begins and ultimately ends.
Charlie Haffner wrote "Amistad Kata-Kata" a play based on the Amistad story. As a native of Sierra Leone, Haffner is critical of the new film “Amistad” now showing in theaters. He says the story neglected many significant events that occurred in Sierra Leone. Haffner currently lives in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Historian Hugh Thomas has written a new major work on the history of slavery, "The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade: 1440-1870" (Simon & Schuster). It's based on his thirty years of research in archives and libraries throughout the world. His book includes written accounts, published for the first time, and an examination of the traders and the countries who profited most. Kirkus Reviews calls the book "A masterful survey." Thomas is a former professor of history and Chairman of the Centre for Policy Studies in Britain.