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Historic Slave Ship Sails Into Bridgeport Seaport

A replica of the slave ship Amistad will be at Captain's Cove through June 14.
A replica of the slave ship Amistad will be at Captain's Cove through June 14. Photo Credit: Facebook

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A replica of the 19th-century slave ship the Amistad will drop anchor in Black Rock Harbor today, bringing with it a world of educational opportunities on history and social issues that still resonate today.

Built in Connecticut and launched from Mystic in 2000, the Amistad will be at Captain’s Cove Seaport through June 14 for school groups and residents who wish to tour it or take one of several planned sails.

“We are thrilled to be able to host such a great historical and educational feature as a visitor’s destination at Captain’s Cove in Bridgeport,” Mayor Ganim said. “Certainly, we also need to highlight the opportunity that has been granted for our children to attend free educational programs aboard the Amistad, and recognize the folks at Juneteenth of Fairfield County and Discovering Amistad who made this possible.”

Daily educational sails will take place for all 15 days, with space for 30 students per program. While aboard, students learn about freedom and slavery, oppression and empowerment and the achievement of justice by racially diverse groups working together.

Public sails for up to 45 guests, ages seven and older, will take place on June 4, 6, 9 and 14, with a VIP reception open to the public tonight. Some tours include a light dinner.

In 1839, Mende captives from Sierra Leone took control of the original Amistad. The ship was towed to Connecticut, where courts ruled on the captives’ fate. The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ordered the captives freed.

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