As part of our Black History coverage, Emmanuel Nado speaks with Samuel Pieh, the great-great-grandson of Joseph Cinqué of the Amistad fame. Born Sengbe Pieh in what’s now Sierra Leone, Cinqué was captured as slaves and shipped to the Spanish colony of Cuba. In 1839, Cinqué led a slave revolt on La Amistad, a ship that was transporting him and other slaves within Cuba. They commandeered intending to sail to Africa, but ended up in the east coast of the United States. After a saga that only ended when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against surrendering the slaves to Spain, Cinqué and 52 other Africans sailed back to Sierra Leone as free men.
Cinqué’s revolt was captured in Stephen Spielberg’s 1997 film, Amistad, for which Samuel Pieh was a consultant.
Pieh works for the United States Department of States and is currently in service in Haiti. He has lived and worked in several African countries as an officer of the U.S.Department of State. He founded many youth organizations while in service in these countries and provided mentorship to the youth. Check out his autobiography, Beyond the Amistad Saga.