With a feel-good ending, you might call "Amazing Grace" a triumphalist view on advancement in persons and politics. Culture is a bolt that ratchets in only one direction in the play: toward greater freedom and compassion. But the musical is not just soothing and includes clear depictions of the horrors of slavery. The show opens with the audience immediately implicated as eager auctioneers at a brutal slave auction. There are several on-stage whippings of black characters by white characters. And the destruction slavery caused to black families is highlighted multiple times.