Amazing Grace: the Madagascar link.

"Remember the Madagascar, Remember that God made men equal" (William Wilberforce)
That is one of the memorable quotes of the upcoming movie "Amazing Grace".
This movie is: "about the campaign against the slave trade in 19th century Britain, led by famous abolitionist William Wilberforce, who was responsible for steering anti-slave trade legislation through the British parliament. The title is a reference to the hymn "Amazing Grace" and the film also recounts John Newton's writing of the hymn." (via wikipedia)

The reviews on "Amazing Grace" are unanimous: it is not your typical hollywood production on the abolition of slavery. It is character-driven, it is honest about our frailty as humans, our fears as people. It is about a beautiful song that represents hope for many embattled people "Amazing Grace" and where it originates from.

First, let me address the link with Madagascar. The "Madagascar" was the name of one of the ship that carried slaves from Africa to Jamaica. 600 slaves departed, only 29 survived. The Madagascar is the symbol of the suffering of those people who were treated worst than dirt by their fellow human beings. And yet, as a Malagasy, I feel privileged to find out about this dubious link with my country.
I see the mention of Madagascar here as an opportunity for us to learn more about the plight of these men and women ( our borthers and sisters) .
I see a chance to begin to understand the immense pain and loss of the people forced on board, the struggle to fight this monstrosity in human history and what it took to end it.
Here is the trailer for the movie:

The other interesting aspect of this movie is the story behind the song "Amazing Grace".
"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound..."
was written by was John Newton, the self-proclaimed "wretch who once was lost but then was found."
John Newton was a captain of a slave ship. On a trip, his ship was caught in violent storm so he asked God for his survival and the rest of the people on his ship by writing the words of "Amazing Grace". After surviving he vowed to care for the slaves in a human fashion. The melody was suspected to originate from a tune the slave used to sing.

The legend of the ship Madagascar says that the ship went on to Australia where it mysteriously disappeared.

The man who spearheaded the end of slavery in Britain is William Wilberforce. Wilberforce published his "Appeal to the Religion, Justice and Humanity of the Inhabitants of the British Empire in Behalf of the Negro Slaves in the West Indies in early 1823", in which he claimed that total emancipation was morally and ethically justified, and a matter of national duty before God. he also was also instrumental in developing the Sierra Leone project to help with the eventual goal of taking Christianity into west Africa.
So I am going to watch "Amazing Grace" and I hope you do too, just to hear that quote I put in the beginning. However, if you won't, the movie site as a trailer called "Madagascar. That is where I got the quote from.
> More reviews
William Wilberforce.
>"Amazing Grace" the official site.
> The "Madagascar" , the ship.
> "Amazing Grace"lyrics.
update: I should have mentioned that "Amazing Grace" is the national anthem of the Cherokee tribe.
"u ne la nv i u we tsi
i ga go yv he i
hna quo tso sv wi yu lo se
i ga gu yv ho nv"
("Amazing Grace"in Cherokee language)
The song has really become the rallying cry against all form of injustice.


  1. Amazing grace is one of my favorite tunes ! Thanks for your post, Lova.
    J'espère que ce film sera bientôt dispo en France !

  2. The heart of Martin Luther gospel revolution [the german Reformer, not Junior] is « sola gratia » by grace alone. I do share this vision, the trust into the power of God's Grace to right the wrongs.

    Malagasy says « mamindra fo » completely U-turn like the composer « who once traded slaves ... into one who fought for their freedom. »

    Thanx so much Lova :D

  3. Thanks for sharing this :) I din't know that "Madagascar the ship" had really exist :) I thought it was just pet name because of the "Admiral"of NAVY that we had as a prez and/or because our contry looks like a big ship in the coast of Africa:D

    as vola says, we waiting for the coming out of the movie in France :)

  4. hello all,
    Ce morceau me donne a chaque fois la chair de poule :). J'ai oublie de rajouter que c'est l'hymme de la tribu Cherokee. Pendant la guerre, les cherokees ne pouvaient enterrer leurs morts selon leurs traditions, chanter ce morceau etait tout ce qu'ils pouvaient faire.
    " u ne la nv i u we tsi
    i ga go yv he i
    hna quo tso sv wi yu lo se
    i ga gu yv ho nv "
    (cherokee lyrics)
    The song really is a rallying cry against all form of injustice.
    One of the most famous interpretation of the song was by Joan Baez. (This should be of interest for our JoGany national :) , hi chica)

  5. where is she anyway ?

    P.S is there any place where we can listen amazing grace in Cherokee language ? :D

  6. I don't know matey, the Jo has gone AWOL :). I cannot find it in cherokee language but here it is with the Scottish bagpipes :) quite stirring !

  7. William Wallace would be proud of the bagpipe rendition...

  8. comme cadeau d'anniv: Amazing grace par Joan baez!