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Take part in Merseyside’s Slavery Remembrance Day

by Nicola Appleton

Members of the public are invited to take part in Slavery Remembrance Weekend from 21 – 23 August 2020.

The annual event is hosted by the International Slavery Museum, but due to the current coronavirus social distancing measures, this year’s activities will be hosted online. Here communities, friends, visitors and families can come together in a digital realm.

The annual Slavery Remembrance Day is held on 23 August. On this day in 1791 an uprising of enslaved Africans on the island of Saint Domingue (modern Haiti) began. It was a crucial event in the fight to end the European transatlantic slave trade.

Over the course of the weekend you can take part in talks, debates and discussions, creative family activities and a virtual tour of Liverpool’s connections to the transatlantic slave trade.

You can find further details as they are announced by following the museum online, but highlights include:

Summer craft activities
July and August
Get ready for Slavery Remembrance Day and get creative with zine making, drawing and more activities to keep your family entertained over the summer holidays.

Liverpool and Slavery map
Friday 21 August
Due to social distancing guidelines, the Slavery Museum are unable to hold the annual Walk of the Remembrance, instead local historian Laurence Westgaph will be curating an online map which will present Liverpool’s connection to slavery and key sites relating to personal experiences of healing and empowerment. This will be a collaborative project, with a range of participants from the eclectic Liverpool communities.

Dorothy Kuya Memorial Lecture: Striving for Race Equality, Justice and Freedom
Saturday 22 August
Zita Holbourne is a lifelong community and human rights campaigner and activist, as well as an artist, curator, poet and writer. She avidly campaigns for equality, freedom, justice and human rights and will delve into these topics as part of her keynote speech, discussing reparations for past atrocities, healing collective trauma and equal rights for the future generations.

The importance of Slavery Remembrance Day
Sunday 23 August
In place of the libation ceremony, Chief Angus Chukuemeka, and pupils from Calderstones School are producing a short film exploring the history and contextual meaning of Slavery Remembrance Day – plus what it means to us today.

Dorothy Kuya Memorial Lecture: The Living History of Slavery and Imperialism: Healing and Empowerment in the time of Covid-19
Sunday 23 August
Professor Stephen Small, from the University of California, Berkeley will be talking about talking about how the British systems of slavery shaped the lives of Africans and their descendants, and the consequential features of imperialism – in Liverpool, Britain and the British Empire. A Liverpool born Black man, Professor Small will explore the highly consequential features of imperialism and will interrogate the strategies passed down over generations by African men, women and their children, in the living legacy of slavery and imperialism that we confront in the time of Covid-19.