Babo and Mori, intelligent and fiercely proud Muslim men from Senegal, conferred about their options.
They and 70 other men were in chains, on the slave ship the “Tryal,” close to their destination in Ecuador. There was precious little time left, and a lifetime of cruelty awaited them. What would they do?
They knew two things: first, that the enslaved men aboard were strong, intelligent, and capable. Second, the white slavers had SEVERELY underestimated them.
Their uprising caught the slavers by complete surprise, and soon the ship was under Babo and Mori’s control, and most of the white crew was dead!
Despite having little sailing experience, they knew how to navigate by looking at the stars. They pointed the ship back towards Senegal. Freedom was nearly in their grasp - but then tragedy struck.
Another passing ship noticed the Tryal, and investigated. The brilliant Bobo and Mori took the former captain, Cerreno, and forced him to pretend that everything was fine.
Just like the slavers had, this captain never imagined these Black men outsmarting him, and he was tricked. Unfortunately, at the last minute Cerreno jumped to the other ship, exposing the plot.
Tragically, the other ship’s captain boarded theirs and slaughtered the rebels.
When the odds are stacked against us, we can use bravery, cunning, and intelligence to create for ourselves an opportunity for freedom. Though they were unsuccessful, we can still take inspiration from their valiant efforts.