Sunday, November 25, 2007

Amazing Grace

William Wilberforce gave his youth and health to abolishing England’s slave trade. Amazing Grace is a powerful rendering of his story and is well worth your time. It portrays the truth that a person can work to build the Kingdom and make the world a better place at the same time.

The reason for the movie’s title is that Wilberforce was encouraged by John Newton, the composer of the hymn, Amazing Grace, and former slave-ship captain, to take on the slavery issue.

After many years, Wilberforce was finally able to pass legislation banning the slave trade in 1807. It was not until 3 days before his death in 1833 that slavery itself was abolished in the British Empire. (Abraham Lincoln did not issue the Emancipation Proclamation in the U.S. until 1862.)

Some lessons for social activism: Get the facts. Communicate the facts effectively. Involve senses and emotions as well as the mind (people needed to smell the ships to begin caring). Find a way to reduce the economic benefits of injustice. Never give up. Others?

1 comment:

Wendy said...

I just saw this. What a powerful movie. I was originally drawn to it, because I knew that Wilberforce was the man behind the RSPCA. You know me and animals! To me, this man is a grand example of Christianity in action.