Free screening of 'Ghosts of Amistad' to take place Feb. 8

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — “Ghosts of Amistad: In the Footsteps of Rebels” — a documentary created by Tony Buba based on the book “The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom” by Marcus Rediker — will be shown at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8, at the State Theatre in downtown State College.

Although the documentary screening and a question-and-answer session with Buba and Rediker afterward are free, seating is limited. Those interested in attending the event can reserve tickets online at the State Theatre website.

“Ghosts of Amistad” chronicles a trip by historians to Sierra Leone in 2013 to visit the home villages of the people who seized the slave schooner Amistad in 1839. In addition to interviewing elders and other local villagers to discover local memory about the case, the historians and film crew search for the long-lost ruins of Lomboko, the slave-trading factory where the cruel trans-Atlantic voyage of the Amistad Americans began.

Buba has been producing documentaries in both long and short formats since 1972. He also has worked on several feature films since receiving his master of fine arts degree from Ohio University in 1976. His films have been screened at the Sundance, Toronto, Berlin, and other major international film festivals, and his one-person exhibitions have been shown at more than 100 universities and museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Carnegie Museum of Art. Additional information about Buba can be obtained at

Rediker is currently distinguished professor of Atlantic history at the University of Pittsburgh and a senior research fellow at the Collège d’études mondiales/Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme in Paris. Active in a variety of social justice and peace movements, he has written, co-written, or edited 10 books. His most recent, “The Fearless Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Dwarf who Became the First Revolutionary Abolitionist,” was published by Beacon Press in September 2017. Additional information about Rediker and his work can be found at

The “Ghosts of Amistad” screening and Buba and Rediker’s visit are part of the Racial Disposability and Cultures of Resistance Sawyer Seminar Series sponsored by the Penn State Department of African American Studies. “Racial Disposability and Cultures of Resistance” seeks to identify and examine ways that marginalized racial subjects in the Americas disrupt the logic of disposability creatively, politically and intellectually using practices of organized resistance and an everyday politics of refusal. The series is funded largely through a grant provided by the Andrew W. Mellow Foundation.

In addition to visiting the series' website, additional information about the Sawyer Seminar Series can be obtained by contacting Cynthia Young, associate professor and head of the Department of African American Studies, at

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Last Updated January 30, 2018