Liverpool’s International Slavery Museum begin their Slavery Remembrance Day programme on 21st August with an online conversation between Liverpool Mayor Joanne Anderson and historian Laurence Westgaph. Ahead of a series of lectures, activity sessions and live performances, the pair will reflect on the city’s historic links to the transatlantic slave trade as well as looking at the significance of Anderson becoming the first Black woman to be elected as mayor of any major UK city.
The annual Dorothy Kuya Slavery Memorial Lectures will be delivered by activist Maria O’Reilly and renowned academic Professor Bayyinah Bello (pictured). Taking place online on 22nd and 23rd August respectively, O’Reilly will explore the struggle of race equality in Liverpool and attaining social justice, while Bello will draw on her expertise in Pan-African and Haitian history when performing this year’s keynote speech. Bello founded Fondasyon Félicité to preserve and research Haitian history and follows an impressive roll call of SRD speakers which include civil rights campaigner Diane Nash, Lemn Sissay and David Olusoga.
A symposium which runs from 23rd August to 4th October led by Malik Al Nasir called Barriers to Black Academia: Slavery and Colonialism and the Case of Reparative Justice will start with a lecture from Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice Chancellor of the University of West Indies. Five of Liverpool’s most prominent activists, including Black Lives Matter Alliance co-founder Chantelle Lunt will look discuss anti-racist activism in Liverpool over the last 40 years.
As part of the activity, National Museums Liverpool – in partnership with Black Cultural Archives, Bristol Culture, Hull Museums, Glasgow Museums and Museum of London – will also launch a national forum to focus on transatlantic slavery and legacies in Museums on 23rd August.
The event takes place on or around the annual date of 23rd August which marks the day in 1791 when an uprising of enslaved Africans on the island of Saint Domingue (modern Haiti) began. The date has been designated by UNESCO as Slavery Remembrance Day, a reminder that enslaved Africans were the main agents of their own liberation.