Photography: Pete Carr / @petecarr

Liverpool’s International Slavery Museum has announced plans for this year’s Slavery Remembrance Day commemorations. With lockdown still easing the dockside venue have decided to take activity online with an engaging programme of talks and workshops.

Every year Slavery Remembrance Day is marked on 23rd August, the day in 1791 when enslaved Africans initiated an uprising in modern day Haiti to play a crucial role in the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade.

Over the years the International Slavery Museum has welcomed eminent guests to conduct a keynote speech on the legacy of the transatlantic slave trade. For the occasion’s 21st year, Professor Stephen Small and Zita Holbourne will take on the Dorothy Kuya Memorial Lecture with two talks taking place over the August weekend. Professor Small, a Liverpool-born academic at the University of California, Berkeley and Holbourne, a lifelong community and human rights campaigner and activist, follow in the footsteps of veteran civil rights hero Diane Nash, Ndaba Mandela (son of Nelson) and Martin Luther King III (son of the famous civil rights leader) all of whom have delivered the lecture.

Dr Richard Benjamin, Head of International Slavery Museum said: “It’s vital for us to continue with this important annual event; and even though we might not be together in person, we are collectively together virtually.

“We will still remember the ancestors, their sacrifices, their resilience and their knowledge. We have excellent speakers this year, who will share their experiences and understanding of the subjects which are at the heart of Slavery Remembrance Day and what it means.”

SLAVERY REMEMBRANCE DAY 2020 Image 2

Above: Libation ceremony

As well as the keynote lectures (taking place on 22nd and 23rd August) there will be a panel discussion to open the weekend. The discussion will feature the museum’s curators thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement, and dialogue on how George Floyd’s untimely death could be the catalyst for change.

As is tradition, Chief Angus Chukuemeka will fulfil libation duties, an ancient ceremony which offers respect to ancestors affected by slavery. This year the ceremony will include opportunity for pupils of Calderstones School to ask questions to the L8 community leader around the importance of the tradition.

Elsewhere on the programme there will be summer craft activities and local historian Laurence Westgaph will curate a Liverpool and slavery history map to replace the usual Walk of Remembrance.

Find full details at liverpoolmuseums.org.uk.

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