Sept. 17, 2003 – Cable television's Discovery Channel will take viewers back in history and to the Danish West Indies for "Moments in Time: St. John Slave Revolt" at 9 p.m. Wednesday and again at midnight.
Crews from the Discovery Channel recorded the one-hour program early this year on St. John, St. Thomas and St. Croix. It includes footage shot at the annual November trek up to Fortsberg on St. John's East End, to commemorate the 1733 slave rebellion.
More than a hundred residents, including local historians, have roles in the program. However, St. John historian David Knight says he's a bit uneasy about the outcome. He served as a consultant and had on-camera time.
"They used artistic license in the story line," he said on Wednesday morning. However, he's keeping an open mind until he sees the outcome Wednesday night.
Guy Benjamin, a retired educator whose name graces the Coral Bay elementary school, also appears in the documentary. "I really enjoyed the experience, and I hope when we see it, we'll all enjoy it," he said.
The program notes on the Discovery Channel's Web site read: "In 1733, slaves rose up to take the Danish- and Dutch-controlled island in the first slave revolt in Caribbean history. The revolt was ultimately unsuccessful, and the slave trade continued to pour people from Africa into the island's sugar cane fields."
While the event is a landmark in Virgin Islands history, information about the slave revolt is not well known outside the Caribbean. This program could mark a change, at least for Discovery Channel viewers.
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