Denmark Vesey Slave Revolt | African Elements: Black Studies
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Denmark Vesey’s Rebellion

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    The Denmark Vesey Revolt — Introduction:

    This rare video is based on the planned slave uprising, in Charleston South Carolina, 1822. Denmark Vesey (a free Black man) organized a slave rebellion in Charleston. Vesey and his conspirators planned to take control of Charleston harbor and navigate to Santo Domingo, with every Black man, woman, and child they could carry.

    The cast includes Yaphet Kotto, Bernie Casey, Ned Beatty, Brock Peters, William Windom, Cleavon Little, Mary Alice and James Bone III. A House Divided premiered February 17, 1982, as a 90-minute PBS television special. I do not claim copyright over this video. The video appears to be an orphaned work meaning there is no living copyright holder (my attempts to find the copyright owner have were not successful). I am posting this in part in the hopes that the copyright owner will come forward and I can purchase rights to this work.

    CLICK HERE FOR TRANSCRIPT
     

    [CHURCH BELLS RINGING]

    [CHURCH CHOIR SINGING]

    ARE YOU DENYING ME THE SIDEWALK?

    GULLAH JACK: DENMARK! SLOW DOWN! NOW IT AIN’T THE TIME!

    MR. BENJAMIN: DO YOU KNOW THAT MAN?

    BACCHUS: THAT SKINNY MAN? THAT GULLAH JACK.

    MR. BENJAMIN: NO, NO, NO THE BIG ONE.

    BACCHUS: THAT THE BIG ONE, THAT UM … HE SLIPPED MY MIND MR. BENJAMIN, BUT HE FREE MAN.

    MR. BENJAMIN: DAMNED INSOLENT BULLY!

    [CHURCH CHOIR SINGING]

    REV. MORRIS BROWN: THANK YOU BROTHERS AND SISTERS. LET’S BOW OUR HEADS. MAY THE BLESSING OF OUR LORD, JESUS CHRIST BE UPON YOU. AMEN. WE HAVE COME TOGETHER THIS MORNING TO HEAR FROM BROTHER GEORGE WILSON. GEORGE?

    THANK YOU, BROTHER MORRIS. FRIENDS, TODAY MY HEART IS HEAVY AS STONE. I’VE BEEN SAVING MORE THAN 20 YEARS TO BUY MY FREEDOM, AND MY MASTER ALWAYS SAID I COULD HAVE IT. BUT NOW HE SAID NO. HE’S SAYING, “NOT WITHOUT AN ACT OF CONGRESS.” PEOPLE SO STIRRED UP NOW, THEY AIN’T GOING TO MAKE IT EASY FOR A SLAVE TO GET HIS FREEDOM IN SOUTH CAROLINA. SO I’M TELLING YOU PEOPLE, IF YOU’VE BEEN PROMISED YOUR OWN, DON’T GET YOUR HOPES UP TOO HIGH. ONLY BEST THING IS TO PRAY UNTIL THINGS GET BETTER,’CAUSE GOD KNOWS THEY CAN’T GET NO WORSE.

    REV. MORRIS BROWN: SPEAKING OF WHICH, LAST MONTH A RUNAWAY SLAVE WAS CAPTURED IN CHARLESTON SOUTH, CAROLINA. LAWYER TURNBULL SAID THAT HE WAS AND IN THIS CHURCH. BRETHREN, IF THAT’S SO I DON’T WANT TO KNOW ABOUT IT, BUT I REMIND YOU THEY CLOSE THIS CHURCH BEFORE AND THEY’LL DO IT AGAIN IF WE ARE NOT CAREFUL!

    DENMARK VESEY: INTOLERABLE!

    GEORGE: YOU ALREADY GOT YOUR FREEDOM, DENMARK. WHAT MORE YOU WANT?

    DENMARK: RESPECT!

    GEORGE: YOU ONE OF THE PEOPLE HE TALKIN’ TO, DENMARK! IT HOTHEADS LIKE YOU GET HIM STIRRED UP!

    DENMARK: SHOULD I STOP IN THE STREET EVERY TIME A WHITE MAN PASSES? AND NOD? AND REMOVE MY HAT? SHOULD I WORSHIP THE WHITE MAN?

    GEORGE: I AIN’T SAYING WARSHIP THE WHITE MAN.

    GEORGE WILSON, YOU WON’T EVEN LOOK A WHITE MAN IN THE EYE. NEITHER WOULD YOU FARRELL

    THOMPSON. OR YOU WILLIAM. NONE OF YOU WOULD.

    REV. BROWN: BROTHERS! LET’S NOT FIGHT EACH OTHER! ROLLA, THEY SAY A MASTER GOV. BENNETT IS A GOOD MAN.

    ROLLA: HE’S A GOOD MAN, BUT HE AIN’T GOD! [APPLAUSE]

    REV. BROWN: PLEASE, BROTHERS! PLEASE! ROLLA, IF YOU TELL HIM OUR TROUBLES PERHAPS HE COULD DO SOMETHING TO HELP.

    THEY’RE ALL THICKHEADED BUKRAS FROM GOV. BENNETT ON DOWN.

    REV. BROWN: WHERE ARE YOU GOING, DENMARK?

    DENMARK: I’VE GOT WORK TO DO.

    GEORGE: YOUR TO PROUD, DENMARK! YOU’VE BEEN FREE SO LONG YOU FORGOT WHAT IT LIKE FOR THE REST OF US!

    DENMARK: I HAVEN’T FORGOTTEN WHAT IT’S LIKE FOR MY WIFE AND SON!

    DENMARK: GEORGE: THERE AIN’T NOTHING WE CAN DO AS LONG AS WE ARE SLAVES!

    THEN YOU DESERVE TO REMAIN SLAVES!

    [DENMARK!]

    DENMARK: HAVE YOU HEARD ANYTHING PETER?

    PETER: YEAH. THE BUKRA ARE STILL ON TOP.

    GULLAH JACK:  NOT FOREVER! MONDAY.

    DENMARK? PETER SAY SOMETHING TO ME ABOUT THIS SOCIETY.

    DENMARK: HOW DO YOU STAND?

    MONDAY: AS FIRM AS THIS HERE WOOD. I’D NEVER SAY NOTHING AGAINST YOU.

    DENMARK: GIVE ME 200 MEN MONDAY.

    PETER: CHARLES? ARE YOU WITH US?

    CHARLES: I DON’T KNOW.

    DENMARK: WE OUTNUMBER THEM CHARLES.

    CHARLES: NOT HERE.

    GULLAH JACK: MAN, WE AIN’T GOT NOTHING TO FEAR.

    PETER: WE BEEN MEETIN’ FOR OVER A YEAR NOW HAVEN’T BEEN DISCOVERED.

    GULLAH JACK: THE HAND OF GOD IS IN THIS THING.

    CHARLES: ALRIGHT, DENMARK. I’M WITH YOU.

    DENMARK: HOW MANY NAMES ON THAT LIST?

    PETER: OVER 80.

    GULLAH JACK: MAN, THE PEOPLE — THEY WIT US.

    DENMARK:  SPREAD THE WORD, BUT BEWARE OF THOSE SLAVES WHO TAKE GIFTS FROM THEIR MASTERS. THEY’RE NOT TO BE TRUSTED.

    [MUSIC PLAYING]

    [APPLAUSE]

    MR. BENJAMIN: GOVERNOR BENNETT! I WISH TO SPEAK WITH YOU!

    GOV. BENNETT: YES, BENJAMIN ABOUT WHAT?

    MR. BENJAMIN: ABOUT YOUR MOST SERIOUS PROBLEM AS GOVERNOR.

    GOV. BENNETT: OH! AND WHAT MIGHT THAT BE, MR. BENJAMIN?

    MR. BENJAMIN: THE INSOLENCE OF THE FREE NEGROES. ONE OF THEM DENIED ME THE SIDEWALK THIS MORNING.

    GOV. BENNETT: PERHAPS BENJAMIN, AFTER THE GUESTS HAVE ALL GONE YOU COULD STAY BEHIND

    AND WE COULD DISCUSS IT LATER.

    MAN: BENJAMIN HAMMETT.

    WOMAN: THE OWNER OF THE DRY GOODS STORE.

    GOV. BENNETT:… AND A LARGE BLOC OF VOTES, I’M AFRAID.

    PETRONIA: HELLO, DENMARK.

    DENMARK: HELLO, PETRONIA, HOW’S SANDY?

    PETRONIA: YOU AIN’T SEEN HIM?

    DENMARK: NOT LATELY.

    PETRONIA: OUR SON GROWN. HE KEEP HIS OWN COMPANY NOW.

    DENMARK: ARE YOU STILL WITH JESSE BLACKWOOD?

    PETRONIA: JESSE GONE NOW. I BY MYSELF. YOU NEED HELP? YOU LOOK LIKE YOU GOT TROUBLE OR SOMETHING ON YOUR MIND. WELL, IF YOU DO DON’T BE NO STRANGER.

    DENMARK: ON SUNDAY, JULY 14 THERE IS NO MOON, THE WHITES ARE OUT OF TOWN, THE SLAVES DO NOT HAVE TO WORK. SO, THEN WE GATHER FOR A PRAYER MEETING.

    GEORGE: ONCE WE MEET, WE COULD START FIRES DOWN ON THE WATERFRONT. AND WHEN THE PATROL COMES TO CHECK THE ALARM, WILL KILL THEM.

    DENMARK: WE PROCEED WITH THE PLAN. AND THEN WHEN ALL IS CLEAR, WE START FOR SANTO DOMINGO IN SHIPS. WE TAKE EVERY MAN AND WE TAKE EVERY WOMAN WE TAKE EVERY CHILD.

    ROLLA: DENMARK, THAT’S GOING TO BE A HARD THING TO DO.

    DENMARK: I KNOW, BUT WE CAN’T DO THIS WITHOUT THE HELP OF THE PLANTATION SLAVES. WITHOUT THEIR HELP, THE PLAN CAN’T WORK.

    PETER: EXCEPT THEY AIN’T AS STRONG- MINDED AS WE BE. ONCE YOU LIVED ON A PLANTATION, YOU THINK IT THE WHOLE WORLD.

    GULLAH JACK: WELL I GOIN’ TAKE THE WORD DOWN TO GOOSE CREEK, BUNKEY’S FARM AND SANTEE. THEY ALL KNOW GULLAH JACK.

    GEORGE: BUT SUPPOSING THEY DON’T BELIEVE YOU?

    DENMARK: THEY MUST.

    WELL, I BEST BE GETTING BACK TO GOV. BENNETT.

    DENMARK: THANK YOU FOR COMING. I APPRECIATE IT. [KNOCKING]

    ROLLA: IT’S YOUR BOY…SANDY.

    PETER: HEY, BOY!

    SANDY: PETER! FATHER, PETER TOLD ME WHAT’S GOING ON.

    DENMARK: TAKE YOUR COAT OFF.

    ROLLA: WHERE IS HE? WOMAN: HE ON THE PORCH. HE WONDERIN’ WHERE YOU IS.

    MR. BENJAMIN: NOT ONLY ARE THE FREE NEGROES INSOLENT, BUT MANY OF THEM OWN PROPERTY. NOW, DOES THIS MAKE SENSE? FOR A PEOPLE WHO, BY THE LAWS OF THIS STATE ARE AN INFERIOR CLASS?

    GOV. BENNETT: THEY ARE GOOD BUSINESSMEN. WHAT CAN I DO?

    MR. BENJAMIN: YOU COULD EXPELL THEM FROM THE CITY OF CHARLESTON.

    ROLLA: WILL THERE BE ANYTHING, SIR? I’VE BEEN MEETING, GOV. BENNETT.

    GOV. BENNETT: OH … NO. NO, THANK YOU, ROLLA, THAT WILL BE ALL.

    ROLLA: GOOD NIGHT SIR.

    MAN: THERE ARE 1,500 FREE NEGROES IN THE CITY OF CHARLESTON. MY OWN BARBER IS ONE. EXPELLING THEM IS IMPOSSIBLE.

    MR BENJAMIN: THEY KEEP THE POOR WHITES FROM WORKING. NOW, THE POOR WHTIES THIS AND THEY LEAVE THE CITY, BUT THE FREE NEGROES ARE NEVER GOING TO LEAVE, AND I CONSIDER THIS A DANGER.

    GOV. BENNETT: I SIMPLY CANOT CONSIDER IT.

    MR BENJAMIN: THEN I PROPOSE YOU PASS A SERIES OF CODES. 1. THAT YOU PROHIBIT THEM FROM OWNING PROPERTY; 2. YOU CLOSE THE AFRICAN CHURCH, AND; 3. YOU PROHIBIT THEM FROM WEARING COLORFUL CLOTHING.

    MAN: WHY?

    MR BENJAMIN: BECAUSE IT GIVES THEM IDEAS WHICH ARE INCONSISTENT WITH THEIR CONDITION IN LIFE. EVERY EFFORT MUST BE MADE TO STRESS THE SUPERIORITY OF WHITES OVER NEGROES

    GOV. BENNETT: OH… NOW NO! THAT WILL SIMPLY BRING ON THE THING YOU’RE TRYING TO PREVENT.

    MR BENJAMIN: I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO FEELS THIS WAY, THERE IS MR. GRADINGS, MR. HOWELL MR. POLL.

    DENMARK: NOW, IF WE COULD HOLD THE CHARLESTON NET FOR 24 HOURS AND LOAD THE CARGO SHIPS I CAN NAVIGATE US TO SANTO DOMINGO.

    SANDY: FATHER, YOU MUST LET ME JOIN.

    MONDAY: SEND OUT YOUR OWN SON, DENMARK, OR IT’S AS GOOD AS SAYING THIS WHOLE THING IS A FAILURE.

    DENMARK: I’LL THINK ON IT.

    PETER: NOW, WE ARE GOING TO NEED GUNS, DENMARK.

    DENMARK: WE’LL GET THEM.

    GULLAH JACK: I THINK I KNOW A MAN CAN GET US GUNS.

    BENJAMIN: AT LEAST CLOSE THE AFRICAN CHURCH.

    GOV. BENNETT: WE CAN’T DENY THE NEGROES THEIR RIGHT TO WORSHIP.

    MR. BENJAMIN: I TREAT BACCHUS THERE MORE LIKE A SON AND A SLAVE, BUT I KNOW ONE THING; THE MORE LIBERTY A NEGRO GETS THE MORE HE WANTS. NOW, THAT’S THE DANGER. THEY’VE GOT TO BE PROTECTED FROM THE FREE NEGROES AND FROM THAT KIND OF TALK THAT GOES ON IN THAT CHURCH.

    GOV. BENNETT: I WILL CONSIDER IT. GOODNIGHT, BENJAMIN. THANK YOU.

    MR. BENJAMIN: EAGLE TAVERN, BACCHUS.

    BACCHUS: YES, SIR.

    BACCHUS: CAREFUL, SIR. LET ME GET YOUR COAT FOR YOU. SIT DOWN HERE. HOLD YOUR HEAD OVER MR. BENJAMIN.

    [HEAVING]

    BACCHUS: YOU ALL THROUGH, SIR?

    BENJAMIN: WHAT’S THIS?

    BACCHUS: SIR?

    BENJAMIN: YOU TRACKED MUD ALL OVER THE RUG. MY GOD, ARE YOU NOTHING MORE THAN A CHILD?

    BACCHUS: I’LL CLEAN IT UP, SIR.

    BENJAMIN: BACCHUS, SLEEP OUTSIDE MY DOOR TONIGHT. I MAY NEED YOU.

    BACCHUS: YES, SIR.

    BACCHUS: GOODNIGHT, MR. BENJAMIN.

    DENMARK: YOU’RE MY WOMAN NOW.

    BECK: FOR ONE DAY AND ONE NIGHT.

    DENMARK: IS THAT TIME ENOUGH? … NO, IT’S NOT. THEY’RE THREATENING TO CLOSE THE CHURCH.

    BECK: YOU MEAN IT?

    DENMARK: THE TIME IS VERY CLOSE.

    BECK: WHY, DENMARK? WHY YOU SO HEADSTRONG ON THIS THING?

    DENMARK: I’M DETERMINED TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.

    BECK: I GET SCARED THINKING ABOUT IT. YOU’VE GOT TOO MUCH FOR LOSE.

    DENMARK: I’VE GOT A SHOP, BUT ANOTHER MAN OWNS MY WIFE. I’M FREE, BUT MY SON IS A SLAVE. IS THAT SO MUCH?

    BECK: WHEN IT GONNA HAPPEN?

    DENMARK: SOMETIME THIS SUMMER

    BECK: AS SOON AS THAT?

    DENMARK: VERY SOON. WE’VE ALREADY WAITED TOO LONG.

    DENMARK: WHY DON’T YOU REST?

    BECK: TOMORROW, I GOT WORK TO DO, LIKE YOU.

    MAN: CAPTAIN, SIR, THIS IS THE BOY YOU ASK FOR.

    CAPT. VESEY: DOES HE LOOK HEALTHY ENOUGH? DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?

    DENMARK: YES, SOME SIR.

    CAPT. VESEY: I’M CAPT. VESSEY. YOU ARE TO BE MY CABIN BOY FOR THE DURATION OF THIS VOYAGE TO SANTO DOMINGO. DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING WITHOUT MY PERMISSION, OR I’LL PUT YOU BACK IN IRONS. IF YOU PERFORM WELL, PERHAPS I’LL KEEP YOU. UNDERSTAND?

    DENMARK: YES, SIR.

    CAPT. VESEY: BRING HIM SOME CLOTHES. ARE YOU INTERESTED IN THE BIBLE? DO YOU KNOW HOW TO READ?

    DENMARK: NO, SIR.

    CAPT. VESEY: GO ON, YOU MAY OPEN IT. THE BIBLE IS HOLY WRIT — GOD’S WORD REVEALED TO MAN. IN THE BIBLE EVERYTHING CAN BE FOUND. “SERVANTS, OBEY YOUR MASTERS,” THE BIBLE SAYS… AND, MASTERS ARE ALSO ENJOINED TO BE JUST AND FORBEARING, REMEMBERING THAT THEY TOO HAVE A MASTER IN HEAVEN.

    >>Back To Top<<

    DECK HAND: MAKE THEM MOVE! GIVE THEM EXERCISE!

    [CRASH!]

    BENJAMIN: I CAN PICK THAT BARREL UP WITH TWO BARE HANDS AND MOVE IT RIGHT INSIDE.

    MAN: THAT BARREL’S GOT 300 POUNDS OF SALT IN IT. FIVE DOLLARS SAYS YOU CAN’T.

    BENJAMIN: BACCHUS!

    BACCHUS: YES, SIR?

    BENJAMIN: WILL YOU TAKE THAT BARREL IN FOR ME?

    GULLAH JACK: THAT BACCHUS. HE THE MAN CAN GET US GUNS.

    [GRUNTING]

    [APPLAUSE]

    BENJAMIN: TWO BARE HANDS! GOOD BOY, BACCHUS

    BACCHUS: THANK YOU, SIR.

    BACCHUS: I KNOW WHAT YOU SAY, I SAY IT AGAIN, I DON’T WANT NO PART!

    PETER: I DONE TALKED TO TO EVERYBODY. NOW, YOU THE ONLY ONE WHO DON’T WANT TO GO ALONG WITH IT.

    SANDY: WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU, MAN?

    BACCHUS: NOTHING WRONG WITH ME, WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?

    GULLAH JACK: DAMMIT, MAN JOIN WITH US AND MAKE A BID FOR FREEDOM.

    PETER: WHAT YOU SAY, BAUCUS?

    BUT, IF THERE HAVE BE SOME KILLIN,’ I DON’T LIKE NO KILLING.

    GULLAH JACK: MAN, I THINK YOU SCARED.

    BACCHUS: ME, SCARED? YOU TALK LIKE THAT TO ME, I WALK OUT THE DOOR!

    DENMARK: GOODNIGHT, GENTLEMEN. YOU HEAR ME!?

    BACCHUS: HE’S TELLING ME I’M SCARED!? HE’S CRAZY! I DON’T FEAR NOTHING.

    DENMARK: I KNOW, GULLAH WAS WRONG. I KNOW YOU’RE NOT AFRAID OR ANYTHING. I’M TIRED. I’M GOING TO GO IN THERE AND LAY DOWN NEXT TO MY WOMAN IN THAT SOFT BED. YOU SLEEP IN A SOFT BED TOO, JUST LIKE YOUR MASTER.

    BACCHUS: OF COURSE I DOES … SOMETIMES, SOMETIMES NOT. WHAT YOU GETTING AT?

    DENMARK: DOES YOUR MASTER WHIP YOU WHEN YOU DO SOMETHING WRONG?

    BACCHUS: MR. BENJAMIN GOOD MASTER. THAT WHY I DON’T WANT NO PART IN THIS MESS.

    DENMARK: I UNDERSTAND.

    BACCHUS: HE SPEAK ME LIKE WE THE SAME. HE’D TAKE ME TO GROG SHOP. HE GOT HOT TEMPER. HE GET HE SELF IN TROUBLE. HE ‘SPECT ME TO BE THERE TO HELP HIM GET HIMSELF OUT OF TROUBLE WHEN HE GET HE SELF IN TROUBLE.

    DENMARK: OF COURSE.

    BACCHUS: LIKE THE TIME THE GENTLEMAN FROM SAVANNA. HE AND BENJAMIN SIT AROUND THE TABLE TALKING ABOUT THE POLITICS. ALL OF A SUDDEN, THIS GENTLEMAN FROM SAVANNA PULL OUT A PISTOL LIKE HE GOING TO PUT A PISTOL BALL IN MR. BENJAMIN’S RIB. I THROW MYSELF ‘TWEEN THEM, AND I TAKE MR. BENJAMIN HOME. SO HE DON’T GET HE SELF IN TROUBLE NO MORE.

    DENMARK: GOOD. BUT, IS IT RIGHT THAT HE SHOULD ASK YOU TO GIVE YOUR LIFE FOR HIS?

    BACCHUS: WELL, GIVE ME THINGS. HE ALWAYS GIVES ME THINGS. LIKE AFTER THAT, HE GAVE ME BACON — BUT THE GOOD BACON FROM THE STORE. ALL THE TOBACCO I WANT SMOKE HE GAVE ME. HE GIVE ME GROG.

    DENMARK: GOOD MASTER.

    BACCHUS: SOME TIME HE BEAT ME. BUT HE HEAVY MAN DRINK. AND HAVE SUCH MISERY. HE GOT THE GRIEF SINCE HE WIFE DIED.

    DENMARK: I UNDERSTAND. BACCHUS?

    BACCHUS: YES, MAN.

    DENMARK: WHO MADE YOUR MASTER?

    BACCHUS: GOD, I ‘SPECT.

    DENMARK: AND WHO MADE YOU? GOD, I ‘SPECT.

    DENMARK: THEN, AREN’T YOU JUST AS GOOD AND JUST AS FREE SINCE GOD MADE YOU BOTH?

    BEKC: YOU’RE NOT GOING TO SAY ANYTHING TO ME?

    DENMARK: I WAS THINKING. SANDY WAS A HAPPY BOY. NOW, HE’S HARD. THEY DID IT TO HIM AT THE RICE PLANTATION. WHERE THEY SENT HIM FOR TALKING BACK.

    BECK: THEY DID IT? MANY A TIME I HEAR YOU TELL HIM, “DON’T WALK WITH YOUR TAIL BETWEEN YOUR LEGS. LOOK THEM IN THE EYE. THAT’S THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN BE A MAN.” BUT YOU BOTH FORGET ONE THING. SANDY A SLAVE, AND YOU’RE NOT.

    [SPEAKING IN FRENCH]

    CAPT. VESEY: HOW MANY SPELLS HAVE YOU HAD?

    DENMARK: NOT SO MANY, SIR, SINCE THEY DONE PUT ME TO WORK IN THE CHURCH. CAPT. VESEY SIR, I LEARNED HOW TO READ.

    CAPT. VESEY: HOW?

    DENMARK: GOD HELP.

    CAPT. VESEY: SHOW ME.

    DENMARK: “… AND THE LORD SAID UNTO MOSES NOW SHALL THY SEE WHAT I DO TO PHARAOH. AND BY A STRONG HAND SHALL HE LET THEM GO.”

    CAPT. VESEY: “… AND BY A STRONG HAND SHALL HE DRIVE THEM OUT OF HIS LAND.” WHY DID YOU CHOOSE EXODUS?

    DENMARK: ‘CAUSE THE HEBREWS SLAVES TOO.

    CAPT. VESEY: LIKE YOU?

    DENMARK: YES, SIR.

    CAPT. VESEY: THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH YOUR MIND. YOU PRETENDED TO BE SICK KNOWING THAT I WOULD HAVE TO TAKE YOU BACK. ISN’T THAT SO?… AND THEY THOUGHT YOU WERE AN IDIOT. NOT ONLY DO YOU HAVE PHYSICAL BEAUTY, BUT YOU ARE ALERT AND CURIOUS. I THINK I SHALL CALL YOU TELEMACHUS AFTER ULYSSES SON. CAN YOU SAY THAT? TELEMACHUS?

    DENMARK: DEN-E-MARK.

    CAPT. VESEY: TEL-E-MACHUS. TRY IT AGAIN.

    DENMARK: DEN-E-MARK.

    CAPT. VESEY: THAT’S CLOSE ENOUGH.

    DENMARK: CAPT. VESEY, SIR, THERE’S SOMETHING VERY IMPORTANT THAT I’D LIKE TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT.

    CAPT. VESEY: WELL?

    DENMARK: I JUST WON THE BAY STREET LOTTERY FOR $1500.

    CAPT. VESEY: YOU? LET ME SEE. WELL, SO YOU DID. NOW, WHAT’S ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH ALL THAT MONEY?

    DENMARK: I WAS THINKING ABOUT BUYING MY FREEDOM.

    CAPT. VESEY: WELL, DENMARK. YOU ARE THE SMARTEST NEGRO I’VE EVER KNOWN. I BELIEVE YOU COULD MAKE SOMETHING OF YOURSELF. YOU KNOW THE WOODWORKING TRADE, YOU COULD OPEN YOUR OWN SHOP. AS LONG AS YOU STAY OUT OF DEBT I BELIEVE YOU COULD KEEP YOUR FREEDOM. I’LL GIVE YOU ALL THE HELP I CAN.

    DENMARK: NO, SIR.

    CAPT. VESEY: WHAT’S THAT?

    DENMARK: I WAS THINKING I WOULD GO TO ANOTHER COUNTRY.

    CAPT. VESEY: YOU THINK YOU COULD START OVER IN A NEW COUNTRY ALONE WITHOUT MY HELP?

    DENMARK: I WOULDN’T BE ALONE. I HAVE MY WIFE, PETRONIA, I WAS THINKING ABOUT BUYING HER FREEDOM.

    CAPT. VESEY: VERY WELL, DENMARK. I’LL GIVE YOU YOUR FREEDOM FOR A PRICE. HOW MUCH DO YOU THINK YOU’RE WORTH? COME ON, NOW SPEAK UP. WELL, IF YOU WERE AN ORDINARY, NEGRO I’D SAY YOU WERE WORTH ABOUT $800. I THINK YOU’RE WORTH MORE THAN THAT, DON’T YOU?

    DENMARK: WELL, THAT’S FOR YOU TO DECIDE.

    CAPT. VESEY: DENMARK, I’LL GIVE YOU YOUR FREEDOM FOR $600.

    DENMARK: THANK YOU.

    MAN: YOU CAN’T COME TO THE FRONT DOOR, BOY. GO AROUND THE KITCHEN DOOR. PETRONIA IS WORKING IN THERE.

    DENMARK: WAIT, I’VE GOT BUSINESS WITH YOU.

    MAN: YOU’VE GOT BUSINESS WITH ME?

    DENMARK: I JUST BOUGHT MY FREEDOM FROM CAPT. VESEY, AND I’VE COME TO BUY PETRONA’S FREEDOM TOO.

    MAN: SHE’S NOT FOR SALE.

    DENMARK: YOU REALLY CAN’T DENY ME, BECAUSE I’VE GOT THE MONEY RIGHT HERE.

    MAN: SHE’S NOT FOR SALE AT ANY PRICE. I’M NOT GOING TO SELL ONE NEGRO TO ANOTHER.

    DENMARK: I’M TIRED.

    BECK: I LOVE YOU, DENMARK.

    BACCHUS: I BRING THE POWDER.

    GULLAH JACK: I THOUGHT YOU SAID IT WAS A PISTOL?

    BACCHUS: IN THE CLOSET.

    DENMARK: GOOD. COULD YOU BRING ME THE PISTOL?

    BACCHUS: I WILL, DENMARK.

    DENMARK: YOU ALL KNOW THAT THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD REVEALED TO MAN?

    [IN UNISON] YES!

    DENMARK:… AND THAT EVERY WORD OF IT IS TRUE.

    [IN UNISON] YES!

    DENMARK: THE TRUTH HAS BEEN CONCEALED FROM YOU.

    [IN UNISON] AMEN!

    DENMARK: THEY DO NOT WANT YOU TO LEARN TO READ THE BIBLE BECAUSE IF YOU DID YOU WOULD LEARN THAT GOD SAYS THAT SLAVERY IS A SIN.

    [IN UNISON] AMEN!

    DENMARK: WOULD GOD TOLERATE HATRED AND SLAVERY?

    [IN UNISON] NO!

    DENMARK: DO WE NOT HAVE ONE FATHER, AS IT SAYS MALACHI? [IN UNISON] YES! HAVE WE ALL NOT BEEN CREATED BY GOD?

    [IN UNISON] YES!

    DENMARK: THE TIME HAS COME FOR US TO RID OURSELVES OF BONDAGE.

    GULLAH JACK: YOU ALL KNOWS ME, GULLAH JACK! I HELPS YOU WHEN YOU’RE SICK! I THERE WHEN YOU’RE BABY BORN! I SEE THINGS GET DONE PROPER! I AIN’T FORGET THE OLD WAYS! BUKRA DR., HE LAUGH AT ME. I CAN DO MORE FOR YOU WITH MY SPELL THEN HE CAN DO WITH POWDER AND PILL! ON THE DAY BEFORE THE FIGHTIN, I GOIN’ PURIFY MY BODY BY EATING ONLY PARCHED CORN! ON THAT NIGHT, I GOIN’ CARRY THE CRAB CLAW! WITH THAT IT GIVE ME GREAT COURAGE AND GREAT POWER! LONG I GOT THAT, I CAN’T BE KILLED! HOW CAN YOU ‘FUSE THE POWER OF THIS MAN?! AFRICA, HE’D BE A GREAT CHIEF! A KING! I FROM ANGOLA! YOU, IBO! YOU, YORUBA! AFRICA, WE’D BE WARRING WITH EACH OTHER, BUT HERE WE ALL ON THE SAME PATH — A PATH THAT LEAD TO FREEDOM! FOLLOW THIS MAN!

    SANDY: YOU NEED TO KNOW ANY MORE THAN THAT?

    DEVANEY: NO, YOU MADE YOURSELF CLEAR.

    SANDY: PETER’S GOT A LIST OF NAMES. HE KNOWS ALL… AND ALL THAT WANT TO KNOW GO TO HIM. FIND PETER, AND HE’LL TAKE YOUR NAME DOWN TOO.

    GULLAH JACK: ON SUNDAY, YOU GON’ TO COME TO THE MARKET, BUT HIDE AXES AND HATCHETS UNDER YOUR GOODS. HOW MANY MEN CAN YOU BRING?

    MAN: 100.

    CAPT. DOVE: SANDY VESEY?

    GOV. BENNETT: SANDY VESEY, AND PETER POIOUS… WE HAVE HEARD SOME RATHER SERIOUS CHARGES LEVELED AGAINST YOU. THAT YOU ARE PART OF A CONSPIRACY TO OVERTHROW THE CITY. NOW, WHAT HAVE YOU TO SAY FOR YOURSELVES? IN THE WORDS OF YOUR ACCUSER, “PETER KNOWS ALL… AND ALL WHO WANT TO KNOW COME TO HIM.”

    PETER: NOW, WHAT FOOL TOLD YOU THAT, SIR?

    GOV. BENNETT: I AM NOT AT LIBERTY TO SAY.

    PETER: HA HA HA HA HA!

    [WHACK!]

    PETER: WELL, WHY, SIR? WHY WOULD WE WANT TO START A…

    GOV BENNETT: … A CONSPIRACY?

    PETER: YES, SIR THAT’S RIGHT. WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, SIR, I THINK Y’ALL HAS GOT THE WRONG PEOPLE.

    GOV. BENNETT: HERE IS A SWORN STATEMENT.

    PETER: OH, JUST SOME NIGGER WHOSE BEEN DRINKING TOO MUCH GROG, SIR. NOW, YOU KNOW HOW THEY IS. [CHUCKLES] NOW, WHY WOULD WE WANT TO DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT? START TROUBLE? NO, SIR. NOT US. WE’D HAVE TO BE SOFT IN THE HEAD, OR SOMETHING. AND ‘OL SANDY, HERE, WHY HE WOULDN’T …

    GOV. BENNETT: …. SANDY HERE, HAS BEEN IN TROUBLE BEFORE.

    SANDY: YES, SIR. NOW, I’S BEEN TO THE RICE PLANTATION ONCE, SIR, BUT I LEARNED MY LESSON THERE. NOW I GOES TO CHURCH EVERY SUNDAY, AND I DONE STOPPED DRINKIN’. IT’S BEEN DRINKIN’ THAT MAKES MY MOUTH SO BIG, SIR.

    CAPT. DOVE: THEY BOTH SHOULD BE THROWN IN JAIL, SIR.

    PETER: WHY, THANK YOU, SIR! I DON’T MIND IF YOU DO THROW US IN JAIL. THEN, MAYBE I COULD GET AWAY FROM THAT EVIL WOMAN OF MINE FOR A SPELL.

    [CHUCKLES]

    GOV. BENNETT: NO NEGRO WHO WAS GUILTY COULD HAVE FACED US LIKE THAT. BUT, WE DO NOT WANT TO START A PANIC. AND FOR THAT REASON I WANT YOU TO GIVE OUT WORD THAT SANDY VESEY, AND PETER POIOUS WERE ARRESTED FOR STEALING.

    CAPT. DOVE? I STILL THINK DEVANEY WAS TELLING THE TRUTH.

    DENMARK: NOW WE MUST ACT! WE MUST CHANGE THE DATE, TO SUNDAY, THE 16TH JUNE.

    PETER: BUT THAT ONLY TWO WEEKS AWAY.

    DENMARK: IF WE DON’T ACT NOW, THE MORE WE PUT THIS THING OFF THE MORE CHANCES WE TAKE FOR BETRAYAL.

    MONDAY: THEN, YOU JUST BEST COUNT ME OUT. WELL, SOMEONE ELSE JUST BETRAY US. THAT’S ALL.

    GULLAH JACK: TOO LATE! WE IN MOTION.

    SANDY: WE CAN STICK TOGETHER! MONDAY: YOU CAN’T MAKE SOUP AND A BASKET.

    DENMARK: HOW DO THE REST OF YOU FEEL?

    PETER: I’M WITH YOU.

    ROLLA: NOBODY IS GOING TO HELP US… NOT NOW THAT THEY KNOW THE BUKRA SUSPECTS.

    DENMARK: I SAY WE GO AHEAD, NO MATTER WHAT THE ODDS.

    BACCHUS: BOTH OF US GOIN’ DIE. I KNOW THAT WHEN I JOINED. SO, I SAY IF THERE IS A CHANCE THEN WE GO ON WIT IT.

    MONDAY: I DON’T KNOW YOU FEEL THAT STRONG ‘BOUT IT.

    BACHHUS: I WEREN’T AT FIRST. ME THINK ON IT. I SAY WE FIGHT HIM WITH WHATEVER WE HAVE — WITH STICKS, WITH PICKS, I SAY WE FIGHT HIM WITH WHATEVER WE HAVE — WITH STICKS, WITH PICKS,WITH OUR FISTS. IT’S A PLEASURE TO DIE WHEN YOU’RE FIGHTING FOR YOUR FREEDOM!

    DENMARK: NOW, I THINK WE SHOULD TAKE A SOLEMN OATH.

    GULLAH JACK: I PROMISE NOT TO TELL ANYONE… [IN UNISON] I PROMISE I WILL NOT TELL THE WHITE MAN. NOT EVEN IF I AM CAPTURED AND PUT TO DEATH. I PROMISE THIS ON HOLY BIBLE, WHICH IS THE WORD OF ALMIGHTY GOD.

    GOV. BENNETT: ROLLA!

    ROLLA: YES, SIR?

    GOV. BENNETT: YOU KNOW THAT I HAVE ALWAYS TRUSTED YOU ABSOLUTELY, DON’T YOU?

    ROLLA: YES, SIR.

    GOV. BENNETT: NOW, ROLLA, I WANT YOU TO KEEP THIS RIFLE CLEANED AND LOADED AT ALL TIMES. IF I AM NOT HERE, AND SOMETHING SHOULD HAPPEN, WELL, MY WIFE AND DAUGHTER ARE IN YOUR CHARGE. AND I’M COUNTING ON YOU TO PROTECT THEM. YOU UNDERSTAND?

    ROLLA: YES SIR, GOVERNOR.

    GOV. BENNETT: GOOD NIGHT, ROLLA. GOODNIGHT, SIR.

    [CHOIR SINGING]

    REV. BROWN: AMEN! THAT’S MIGHTY FINE SINGING. VERY FINE. I KNOW GOOD SEEING PLEASES THE LORD. I SEE WE HAVE A VISITOR THIS MORNING. CAPT. DOVE IS HERE WITH US. WE’RE GLAD YOU’RE HERE, SIR. MAY THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD BE WITH YOU.

    ROLLA: YOU SEE THAT? THEY JUST WON’T LEAVE US ALONE.

    GEORGE: ROLLA, WHAT THIS I HEAR ABOUT A SOCIETY?

    ROLLA: HOW’D YOU LIKE TO GET YOUR FREEDOM AFTER ALL, GEORGE?

    GEORGE: HOW?

    ROLLA: WE’RE GOING TO SLAY THE MASTERS AND ‘SCAPE THIS COUNTRY BY SHIP, THAT’S HOW. DENMARK VESEY IS OUR LEADER. IF YOU DON’T WANT TO JOIN US, YOU’D BEST BE OUT OF TOWN BY SUNDAY MIDNIGHT.

    GEORGE: CAN YOU BIND YOUR MASTER AND KILL HIM?

    ROLLA: YES, I COULD.

    GEORGE: LEAVE THIS THING ALONE, ROLLA. LEAVE IT ALONE!

    ROLLA: IT’S GONE TOO FAR TO STOP NOW, GEORGE.

    >>Back To Top<<

    PETER: WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND?

    ROLLA: I FIND MYSELF SAYING THINGS I DON’T REALLY BELIEVE. I JUST TELL GEORGE WILSON I COULD KILL GOV. BENNETT. GOV. BENNETT’S BEEN GOOD TO ME.

    PETER: IF THAT’S HOW YOU FEEL, I’LL GET SOMEBODY TO KILL BENNETT FOR YOU.

    ROLLA: I DON’T WANT NO KILLING AT ALL.

    PETER: NOW, I AIN’T EVER KNOW’D YOU TO BE NO COWARD.

    ROLLA: THAT’S GOT NOTHING TO DO WITH IT, NO. WHAT MAKES YOU THINK DENMARK’S DOING EVERYBODY’S SUCH A BIG FAVOR, ANYWAY? IF THIS THING DON’T WORK, IT’S JUST GONNA MAKE THINGS THAT MUCH WORSE.

    PETER: YOU CAN’T SEE WHAT A GREAT MAN HE IS?

    ROLLA: MAYBE HE’S A CRAZY MAN. YOU EVER THOUGHT OF THAT?

    PETER: NOW, LISTEN ROLLA. ALL I KNOW IS THAT I CAN NO LONGER BEAR WHAT I HAVE BORNE. NOW, DENMARK IS MY ONLY HOPE. NOW, HE’S GOT MY HANDS AND MY HEART — AND HE’D BETTER HAVE YOURN!

    ROLLA: WHO DO YOU THINK YOU’RE TALKING TO? YOU KNOW I’M IN THIS AS FIRM AS YOU ARE. BUT, I’M DOING THIS FOR MY WIFE AND CHILDREN — NOT FOR DENMARK VESEY.

    REV. MORRIS BROWN: CAPT. DOVE CAME TO MY CHURCH THIS MORNING … I THINK YOU KNOW WHY.

    DENMARK: YES, I KNOW.

    REV. BROWN: ENTER ON THIS BUSINESS, DENMARK, AND THEN YOU’LL BRING DOOM ON US ALL.

    DENMARK: WASN’T THE ISRAELITES FREED FROM THE PHAROH BY THE POWER OF GOD?

    REV. BROWN: YES, BUT I CAN SEE NOTHING OF THAT KIND IN THESE DAYS.

    DENMARK: MORRIS, PLEASE DON’T STAND IN OUR WAY.

    REV. BROWN: I WON’T, BUT I’LL TAKE NO PART IN THIS.

    DENMARK: WE DON’T WANT YOU TO TAKE PART IN IT, MORRIS. IF THIS THING FAILS THEN THE PEOPLE NEED YOU, AS ALWAYS.

    REV BROWN: THEN I SHALL NEED TO BE AT HOME IN PRAYER.

    DENMARK: THEN PRAY THAT GOD SMILES ON US, MORRIS.

    DENMARK: TOMORROW NIGHT ON THE STROKE OF 12 WE COMMENCE. BACCHUS AND HIS ARMY WILL SET FIRE TO THE WATERFRONT WAREHOUSES. ROLLA’S ARMY WILL ASSEMBLE AT BENNETT’S MILL AND MARCH TO CANNON’S BRIDGE TO PREVENT THE WHITES FROM GOING BACK AND GETTING REINFORCEMENTS. GULLAH JACK’S ARMY OF PLANTATION SLAVES WILL ASSEMBLE AT BUCKLEY’S FARM, MARCH INTO THE CITY, TAKING THE POWDER MAGAZINES ALONG THE WAY.

    MAN: WHAT GOOD IS THE POWDER WITHOUT GUNS?

    DENMARK: PETER AND I WILL TAKE THE ARSENAL. THERE’S OVER 300 GUNS AND WEAPONS THERE.

    MAN: BUT THE BOAT PATROL WILL BE READY.

    MAN: WHAT ABOUT THE BOAT PATROL? THEY GOIN’ WIPE US OUT BEFORE WE EVEN GET STARTED.

    DENMARK: MONDAY GELL COMANDS CAVALRY WILL INTERCEPT THE PATROLS ON THE STREETS.

    MONDAY: BY GOD, EVERY MAN WHO CAN RIDE GOT TO BE HERE BY MIDNIGHT. WE GOT HORSES FOR ALL.

    MAN: THEY AIN’T ENOUGH OF WE!

    DENMARK: NO, MY BROTHERS. YES THERE ARE. IF WE STICK TOGETHER LIKE OUR BROTHERS IN SANTO DOMINGO, GOD WILLING, THIS CITY WILL BE OURS BY MONDAY MORNING.

    MAN: YES, GEORGE?

    GEORGE: I GOT SOMETHING FOR YOUR EARS ONLY.

    CAPT. DOVE: MS. BENNETT? GOOD MORNING, CAPTAIN DOVE. CAPT. DOVE: GOVERNOR, I’VE GOT TO SPEAK TO YOU AT ONCE.

    GOV. BENNETT: NOW?

    CAPT. DOVE: IN PRIVATE. WE HAVE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE SLAVE REVOLT. AND WE KNOW WHEN IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE — TONIGHT.

    GOV. BENNETT: ARE YOU CERTAIN?

    CAPT. DOVE: THE INFORMANT IS RELIABLE. HE GAVE US A LIST OF NAMES. ONE OF YOUR OWN SLAVES IS IMPLICATED, SIR.

    GOV. BENNETT: WHICH ONE?

    CAPT. DOVE: ROLLA.

    GOV. BENNETT: WHY, THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE.

    CAPT. DOVE: I SUGGEST YOU CALL OUT THE MILITIA.

    GOV. BENNETT: THAT MIGHT CAUSE PANIC.

    CAPT. DOVE:  IT MIGHT PREVENT OUR BLOODSHED! WE OUTNUMBERED, GOVERNOR –2 TO 1!

    GOV. BENNETT: VERY WELL. NOTIFY THE MILITIA TO INTERCEPT ALL SLAVES COMING IN OR GOING OUT OF TOWN.

    CAPT. DOVE: YES, GOVERNOR.

    GOV. BENNETT: PLACE PATROLS IN THE STREETS. DETAIN ANYONE OF A SUSPICIOUS NATURE — BLACK OR WHITE — THERE MAY BE SOME WHITES ENCOURAGING THEM. PLACE A GUARD AROUND THE ARMORY, THE WHARF AND THE POWDER MAGAZINE. AND THEN, HAVE THE SLAVES ARRESTED.

    CAPT. DOVE: AT ONCE, GOVERNOR.

    MR. BENJAMIN. BACCHUS!?

    GULLAH JACK: HEY, MAN! HOW MANY OF YOU ARE THERE!?

    MAN: SEVEN.

    GULLAH JACK: AND THE REST!?

    MAN: THEY AIN’T COME.

    GOV. BENNETT: ROLLA! MALICIOUS TONGUES HAVE BEEN SPREADING STORIES. MY SOLICITOR WILL BE AT THE COURTHOUSE TO REPRESENT YOU.

    ROLLA: YES, SIR.

    GOV. BENNETT: I KNOW THAT YOU ARE INNOCENT, ROLLA. DO NOT LOSE HEART.

    ROLLA: YES, SIR.

    DENMARK: WHAT HAPPENED GULLAH?

    GULLAH JACK: THE ROAD OUT OF TOWN BLOCKED. I CANNOT GET THROUGH. DENMARK, THE PLANTATION SLAVES DIDN’T COME.

    PETER: WE’VE BEEN BETRAYED!

    SANDY: THEY TAKE ROLLA IN CHAINS FROM GOV. BENNETT’S HOUSE.

    BACCHUS: THEY GOIN’ COME HERE NEXT FOR SURE. WHAT NEXT?

    DEMARK: WE’VE GOT TO GET SANDY DOWN TO THE WHARFS AS A STOWAWAY ON ONE OF THE CARGO SHIPS.

    BACCHUS: IF WE CAN, DENMARK.

    SANDY: NO, FATHER. I’LL STAY HERE AND DIE WITH YOU.

    DENMARK: NO! YOU AREN’T DYING! AS LONG AS WE ARE FREE THIS THING IS STILL ALIVE!

    DENMARK!

    DENMARK: THE IMPORTANT THING NOW IS SILENCE. IF WERE CAPTURED, DO NOT REVEAL ANYTHING. DO NOT GIVE ANY NAMES. SILENCE NOW IS OUR ONLY WEAPON. … BACCHUS.

    DENMARK.

    [KNOCKING]

    PETRONIA: THEY’RE LOOKING ALL OVER FOR YOU. I WAS HALF EXPECTING YOU.

    DENMARK: I’M TIRED. COME … NO, COME IN THE BACK.

    DENMARK: I’M SO TIRED. COME… COME BACK.

    PETER: NOW Y’ALL JUST SHUT YOUR MOUTHS AND DIE QUIETLY LIKE YOU GON’ SEE ME DO.

    PETRONIA: DENMARK!

    CAPT. DOVE: SEARCH THE HOUSE! AND REMEMBER, I WANT HIM ALIVE! YOU HEAR ME? ALIVE!

    GUARD: I’VE GOT HIM!

    CAPT. DOVE: THROW HIM IN IRONS.

    JUDGE: DENMARK VESSEY, THE COURT HAS PRONOUNCED YOU GUILTY, AND HIS NOW SATISFIED THAT YOU ARE THE AUTHOR, AND ORIGINAL INSTIGATOR OF THIS DIABOLICAL PLOT. THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN SAVE YOURSELF IS TO DISCLOSE THE NAMES OF ALL YOUR CONSPIRATORS. HAVE YOU ANYTHING TO SAY? …YOUR LAMP OF LIFE IS NEARLY EXTINGUISHED. AND YOU WILL SHORTLY PASS FROM TIME TO ETERNITY. TO THAT ALMIGHTY BEING ALONE — WHOSE HOLY ORDINANCES YOU HAVE TRAMPLED IN THE DUST — CAN YOU NOW LOOK FOR MERCY. THE COURT SENTENCES THE PRISONER TO BE HANGED BY THE NECK UNTIL HE IS DEAD.

    BACCHUS: DENMARK?

    DENMARK: I WAS THINKING ABOUT BECK AND SANDY.

    BACCHUS: THEY DON’T CATCH SANDY YET. THEY MAY NEVER GET HIM. HE PROBABLY ON HIS WAY NORTH BY NOW. MAYBE HE GET A SHIP.

    MR. BENJAMIN: BACCHUS! BACCHUS!

    BACCHUS: I DON’T WANT TALK TO YOU, MR. BENJAMIN! YOU GET AWAY!

    MR. BENJAMIN: BACCHUS, YOU DON’T HAVE TO DIE TOMORROW. MONDAY GELL HAS CONFESSED

    BACCHUS: WHAT YOU SAY?

    MR. BENJAMIN: HE’S GIVEN THE COURT A LOT OF NAMES. IT’S NOT TOO LATE BACCHUS. PERHAPS THEY’LL CHANGE YOUR SENTENCE TO BANISHMENT — THAT MEANS BEING SENT OUT OF THE COUNTRY.

    BACCHUS: NO.

    BACCHUS?…BACCHUS!

    BACCHUS: NO!

    BENJAMIN: HOW HAVE I GONE WRONG WITH YOU? YOU’VE ALWAYS BEEN SUCH A VERY, VERY GOOD BOY. I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT YOU PLOTTED TO KILL ME.

    BACCHUS: I AIN’T NEVER PLOT TO KILL! I PLOT TO BE FREE! BUT YOU WOULDN’T UNDERSTAND THAT, MR. BENJAMIN. YOU COULDN’T. OH, YOU BE BETTER THAN MOST MEN, BUT I STILL YOUR PROPERTY. YOU TREAT ME GOOD, BUT A MAN TREAT A HORSE GOOD TOO. AND THEN I MEET DENMARK. AND HE ASKED ME DEM QUESTION. AND I WAITIN’ ALL MY LIFE FOR SOMEONE TO ASK ME DEM QUESTION. I LIKE YOU, MR. BENJAMIN. YOU’VE BEEN A GOOD MAN, BUT YOU MY MASTER. AND IT GETTING TO SO I CAN’T SEE THE MAN ‘FORE THE MASTER. I DON’T THINK YOU EVER REALLY SEE ME, MR. BENJAMIN. YOU DON’T SEE BACCHUS! I’VE BEEN NOTHING MORE TO YOU THAN A GOOD HORSE OR AN EXTRA SMART DOG! GET AWAY! GET AWAY!

    MR. BENJAMIN: BACCHUS?…BACCHUS!?

    BACCHUS: YOU KNOW, DENMARK, BEFORE I MET YOU I WALK AROUND LIKE A DEAD MAN ALL DEM YEARS. SO, IF DYING IS LIKE SLEEPING, THEN IT DON’T MATTER. I’VE BEEN TO SLEEP BEFORE. YOU BE STRONG, DENMARK. YOU’VE GOT TO BE STRONG. I’LL HELP YOU. YOU HELP ME. WE BE STRONG.

    DENMARK: NO, WE DON’T…WE DON’T NEED ANY HELP ANYMORE. IT’S THE OTHERS WHO WILL COME AFTER US WHO NEED THE HELP.

    MAN: HOW MANY NEGROES ARE NOW ARRESTED?

    GOV. BENNETT: OH, UPWARDS OF 130 I EXPECT BY NOW. I KEEP ASKING MYSELF HOW THIS COULD ALL HAVE BEEN AVOIDED.

    MAN: DON’T HOLD YOURSELF TO BLAME, TOM. SLAVES WILL ALWAYS BE SUSCEPTIBLE TO FANATICS LIKE VESEY.

    GOV. BENNETT: PERHAPS HAMMET WAS RIGHT — THE MORE LIBERTY YOU GIVE A NEGRO THE MORE HE WANTS. WELL, FROM NOW ON I SHALL SEE TO IT THAT THIS NEGROES OF SOUTH CAROLINA ARE SUBJECT TO A GREAT DEAL MORE CONTROL FOR THEIR OWN GOOD.

    MAN: WHITE MEN TOO WOULD TRY TO ESCAPE IF THEY WERE ENSLAVED, TOM

    GOV. BENNETT: PERHAPS… BUT WILLIAM, I LOVED ROLLA, AND HE WAS LED AWAY FROM ME LIKE A CHILD WHO KNOWS NO BETTER. I SHOULD HAVE BEEN A STRONGER MASTER. LET’S GO.

    [SOBBING]

    DENMARK: JACK … WE SHOWED THEM HOW TO LIVE LIKE MEN. LET’S SHOW THEM HOW TO DIE LIKE MEN.

    [TRAP DOOR OPENS]

    [SINGING… AMAZING GRACE]

    SANDY: BECK! … BECK!

    BECK: WHO DAT?

    SANDY: A FRIEND. I FOUND SOME PEOPLE BACK IN THE SWAMP. THEY LOOKIN’ OUT FOR ME.

    BECK: YOUR FATHER IS DEAD.

    SANDY: I KNOW. THEY NEVER GOING TO FORGET HIM.

    BECK: FORGET HIM? WHY, THEY DON’T LET NOBODY MOURN HIM IN CHARLESTON. THAT’S HOW MUCH THEY SCARED OF HIM. EVEN THOUGH HE DEAD, YOUR FATHER AIN’T NEVER GOING TO BE FORGET. HE LET THE TRUTH OUT. THEY CAN’T PRETEND WE HAPPY IN SLAVERY NOW.

    SANDY: I’M GOING NORTH TO TRY AND REACH PHILADELPHIA. SOME PEOPLE UP THERE THAT MAYBE CAN HELP ME.

    BECK: TELL DEM WHO HE WAS.

    SANDY: I’M GONNA DO THAT. BYE, BECK.

    BECK: GOODBYE, SANDY.

     

    [BACK TO VIDEO LIBRARY]

     

    Posted on Darius SpearmanAfrican Elements - Visit Us!

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