Covid-19 restrictions have meant several bookings for our exhibition have had to be postponed or cancelled. So we have filmed it. While not quite as good as the real thing, especially the interactive part, here is our digitised version of 'Colonial Slavery and its Legacy.' Feel free to use and share.
Enslaved is a six-episode docuseries that explores 400 years of human trafficking from Africa to the New World by following the efforts of Diving with a Purpose, as they search for and locate six slave ships that went down with their human cargo. These modern day adventures serve as a springboard to tell the stories of the ideology, economics and politics of slavery, while also celebrating stories of resistance, the cultures left behind and the culture that we live in.
Co-presented by Samual L. Jackson and Afua Hirsch, Enslaved is showing in the US and Canada in September and on BBC2 in October.
The first two parts of the Mosaic Justice Network 'Facing up to race' series took place in the last few days. Both featured excellent presentations and honest and deep discussion. Recordings are now available to watch and listen.here.
The Mosaic Justice Network in Manchester are holding a short series of conversations via Zoom called 'Facing up to race: contested identities and realities' on issues arising from the murder of George Floyd.
For more information and Zoom info go here or send an email. Zoom info is also on the leaflets.
'Break the Cycle' is a movement aimed at "generating racial equality in educational leadership". This year its national conference will be online with the theme: "Time for Change: How a Racist Education produces a Racist Culture".
Organiser Steve Chalke explains in this article the need to break the cycle of racism and inequality by "creating an education system that dismantles, rather than reinforces, racism." Referencing the toppling of the statue of Edward Colston, Chalke says that "lasting change has to be more than symbolic; it must become systemic" and that the real question is: "how do we turn this moment into a movement? A movement that serves as the harbinger of genuine transformation? Racism is the complex system of privilege and legacy, advantage and disadvantage, power and poverty. It is explicit and implicit. It is conscious and unconscious. It is the air that we breathe." Chalke believes that education can be "the engine of social and cultural change we long for. I believe that education can be the most potent driver towards equity and true opportunity."
The conference is on Saturday July 18, 10am to 1pm, hosted by Oasis Charitable Trust and sponsored by the Time Educational Supplement. Speakers include Professor Robert Beckford, educator, author and award-winning broadcaster; Tessy Ojo, CEO of The Diana Award; Lord Michael Hastings. Tickets are free and can be booked here.
Read more about the Break the Cycle movement here.
A new “home school” competition for children and young people to explore Black British History and multicultural Britain has been launched. Sponsored by The National Education Union (NEU), the competition is part of the special launch of the 100 Great Black Britons campaign created by Patrick Vernon OBE to celebrate the continued legacy and achievements of Black people in Britain.
The competition is open to all age groups. Children and young people are asked to create a fun and unique project celebrating Black Britons and their legacy. There is also a special teacher's competition to develop resources that can be shared as part of a permanent online teaching resource celebrating Black history.
“The current crisis has highlighted the centrality of Black people in Britain, to the NHS and care work, transport systems, food supplies, utilities, research, education and so much more. The NEU supports this competition to celebrate what we have always known that Britain’s history is irrefutably rooted in Black and global history and that our members do a fantastic job in teaching this. It will be a fabulous opportunity to showcase some of their work and that of their pupils”. Kevin Courtney, NEU Joint General Secretary.
Entries are now open and will close on September 30th. Find our more here.
MJR's Alton Bell and Nigel Pocock will be taking part in "Colloquium: 400 years since the start of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade" in Belfast on November 7th. This event is being organised the by African and Caribbean Support Organisation Northern Ireland (ACSONI) and will also feature the new MJR Exhibition on the Legacy of Slavery.
ACSONI is an autonomous community-based organisation formed in 2003 with a proactive approach towards targeting needs and facilitating belonging among individuals from the continent of Africa, the Caribbean (West Indies) and other families in Northern Ireland with these linkages. The November 7 seminar will explore 400 years since the beginning of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, with talks on the epigenetic of slavery and research on the shipwrecked slave ships around Northern Ireland's coast.
The event is at Stranmillis University College, Belfast and runs from 2-6pm. Tickets are free, but places are limited and must be prebooked here. Download a leaflet here.
The University of Bristol has appointed Professor Olivette Otele as its first Professor of the History of Slavery. The appointment comes after a number of universities, including Cambridge, have launched inquiries into how their institutions may have benefited from the slave trade.
Professor Otele will undertake a two-year research project on the involvement of the University of Bristol and the wider city in the slave trade. Her research examines the various legacies of colonial pasts, understanding trauma, recovery and social cohesion, but also amnesia and reluctance to address various aspects of colonial legacies. She has already been working on these complex and sensitive questions for nearly two decades. Otele, who became the UK's first black female history professor at Bath spa University in October 2018, said she wanted the research project to be "a landmark in the way Britain examines, acknowledges and teaches the history of enslavement".
University Provost and deputy vice-chancellor Judith Squires said: "This new role provides us with a unique and important opportunity to interrogate our history, working with staff, students and local communities to explore the university's historical links to slavery and to debate how we should best respond to our past in order to shape our future as an inclusive university community."
Read more here and here and the official Press Release here.
In this Guardian Opinion piece, Afua Hirsch, describes herself as "the party pooper who, while on holiday in destinations popular with Britons, has the audacity to ask: what actually happened here?" She believes that there is an opportunity "to be honest with and educate British tourists in parts of the former British empire, instead of which we are stuck in denial. Tour operators, hotel and museum owners think that visitors want to hear something that conforms to their already comfortable worldview. They then produce experiences that do so, and British holidaymakers come away with their preconceptions neatly confirmed." On recent trips to Jamaica and Kenya Afua has found herself giving "unofficial alternative history talks" to fellow British tourists and found that they were interested and curious to know more.
Things are changing in places like Auschwitz, Cambodia and Chernobyl. But the British can feel comfortably distant from tragedies in these places. "The problem with the former empire is that the questions of moral culpability it raises are a lot closer to home. It’s hard enough to get people to think about these questions here in Britain. But if Britons are still being helped to avoid the truth of empire in the places where it happened, and where local people are still living with the consequences, then what hope have we got?" Read the full article here.
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