Amazing Grace is a very nice film about a terribly earnest man who eventually persuaded his peers to do the jolly decent thing and abolish slavery. To be fair to the radical 18th Century politician William Wilberforce, he did dedicate his life to the then cloud cuckoo cause of ‘equality’ for all, the centrepiece of which was to end the abhorrent trans-Atlantic slave trade. The film’s release is timed to mark the 200th anniversary of Wilberforce’s fifteen year battle to get a bill passed in the parliament of the day to outlaw the kidnap, rape, murder and false imprisonment for life of any man, woman or child who happened to get in the way of a British (or Spanish or Danish or French etc) profiteer with a ship and the funding to get it to the west coast of Africa. The film has been criticised for its failure to present a black perspective. With the exception of Olaudau Equiano, the former slave who wrote a best selling book about his experiences, there are no black people in Amazing Grace. The fact is that black people didn’t feature in discussions about slavery any more than chickens would be invited to debate the ethics of battery farming today.
Picture - The Old Plantation from www.history.org