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Amistad A Long Road to Freedom

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ISBN-10: 0141300043

ISBN-13: 9780141300047

Edition: N/A

Authors: Walter Dean Myers

List price: $9.99
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In 1839, a young man named Sengbe Pieh led a group of illegally enslaved Africans to revolt against their captors aboard the slave ship Amistad. All they wanted was to return home to their families. Instead, the Africans landed in the United States, where they were imprisoned and charged with murder. In the historic case that followed, abolitionists came to the Amistad captives' defense. Sengbe Pieh continued as the group's leader, learning enough English to speak out in court for the freedom they so desperately needed. Award-winning author Walter Dean Myers's look at the Amistad rebellion shows how this complicated struggle against bigotry and injustice was an important victory in our nation's fight for equality for all. Book jacket.
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Book details

List price: $9.99
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date: 12/31/2001
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 112
Size: 7.50" wide x 8.75" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.594
Language: English

Walter Dean Myers was born in Martinsberg, West Virginia, into a very poor family. When he was three years old, he was adopted by Herbert and Florence Dean, who moved to New York City. Thus Myers grew up in Harlem. He began writing stories while still in his teens but had little hope of becoming a professional writer because, coming from a family of laborers, he too was expected to work with his hands. However, Myers refused to accept the notion that because he was black and poor he was restricted in what he could do. After high school he enlisted in the army, and while there he read everything he could. After completing his army service, he took what jobs he could while continuing to write. He entered a contest for writers of books for young children, "more because I wanted to write anything than because I wanted to write a picture book." He won the contest, wrote several more books for young children, and then began writing novels for young adults. Myers's novels for teenage readers have won high praise and several awards. Aside from telling good stories, Myers strives to convey what he learned while young. His message to black youth is that although growing up is not easy and reality can be harsh, young African Americans can succeed despite the odds against them. As he has said in an autobiographical essay, "I feel the need to show [black youngsters] the possibilities that exist for them that were never revealed to me as a youngster; possibilities that did not even exist for me then."

Map of the Voyages of the Amistad Captives
Time Line
The Background
Mendeland, West Africa
Lieutenant Thomas R. Gedney
The Battle Begins
In the Courts
What Is Freedom?
Further Reading