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"Amazing Grace": God Made Man Equal

The film Amazing Grace chronicles the efforts of William Wilberforce (Ioan Gruffedd) to end the British Transatlantic slave trade in the 19th century. In this scene, Wilberforce attempts to awaken the consciousness of the public to the horrible practice of the slave trade by arranging for a ship carrying members of Parliament and their wives to stop alongside a slave ship.

As Wilberforce appears, one man asks, "What's he doing up there?"

"Ladies and gentlemen," Wilberforce greets them, "this is a slave ship—the Madagascar. It has just returned from the Indies, were it delivered 200 men, women, and children to Jamaica. When it left Africa, there were 600 on board. The rest died of disease and despair."

By now, some people are raising handkerchiefs to their noses to block the stench.

Wilberforce continues, "That smell is the smell of death—slow painful death." A few people begin to cry. "Breathe it in; breathe it deeply. Take those handkerchiefs away from your noses. There now, remember that smell. Remember the Madagascar. Remember that God made man equal."

Rated - PG

Elapsed time: Chapter 12; this scene begins at 00:55:42 and ends at 00:56:52

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