Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels
Craig Morgan Teicher
A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels
by Kevin Young
$27.95 List Price
In several book-length poetry projects, Kevin Young has reexamined pivotal figures in African-American history and culture—Civil War soldiers, blues singers, and artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, to name a few. His latest, Ardency, considers the 1839 mutiny on the slave ship Amistad, which was taken over by a group of African captives known as the Mendi, who were later recaptured and tried in New Haven for murder, putting them at the center of the abolition debate. Young revisits these events in ways that a history book couldn't, telling the captives' stories in different poetic styles and through a parade of voices.
The first of the book's three sections presents itself as an account of the event by James Covey, a world-weary African interpreter who translates between the Mendi and the Americans. Covey is cynical,
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