When History Comes To Life

This week, Mrs. Krasemann and five members of her Good Trouble: Black Agency Since 1865 class visited the Amistad, a replica of the schooner that was pivotal in the black resistance movement in the 1800s, while it was docked in Hartford. The original Amistad housed 53 Africans kidnapped from Sierra Leone and put on a ship bound for Cuba, where they would become slaves. Following an onboard rebellion, with their freedom and lives at stake, the kidnapped men and children overthrew their captors, and with the help of abolitionists in Connecticut and New York, were declared not guilty for their actions during trial and were returned to Africa, free once again.

In 2015, the Discovering Amistad foundation was created. After purchasing a replica of the schooner and spending the next year fixing it up, they now dock in New Haven, traveling to other cities throughout the year to provide education about slavery and injustice to students and teachers alike. While providing a distinct spotlight on this historical uprising, the foundation also spreads awareness about modern day slavery and its different forms, and how history impacts our world today. 

Mrs. Krasemann noted how the visit gave her students a lens through which history could really come alive--seeing the boat allowed them to picture where the kidnapped Africans were kept, crammed belowdecks where there was no moving air, which made the horrors of the past even more intensely impactful. She hopes to do more field trips like this in the future.