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Welcome to Black History Month

1 October 2015 by Alison

legacy-gallery-visitor_3As we move into the month of October, Black History month in the UK, Mitty from the Education team tells us all about the events and fun, family friendly activities that are taking place at the museum.

“October is Black History Month, a national celebration that aims to promote and celebrate Black contributions to British society, and to foster an understanding of Black history in general. But it’s a funny one isn’t it? In an ideal world Black history wouldn’t just be a separate entity;  it would be incorporated into the mainstream of our understanding of the past.

If you come and visit the International Slavery Museum at any time of year, or engage with us on social media, you’ll see that we’re always passionate about exploring Black history and are enthused about our incredible collections, regardless of whether it’s Black History Month or not. Black history is after all part of everyone’s history.

As someone who talks about transatlantic history and its wider impact all year round, October is when I get to shout just a little bit louder about the great things we’re up to.

For the adults we have a number of talks including historian Dr Ray Costello focusing on Black soldiers at the Battle of Waterloo on October 24 which might change your perception of Black participation in Britain’s wars. We also play host to Gary Shaw talking about the Colour bar in boxing on October 10, telling the story of how non-white boxers were banned from becoming British boxing champions from 1909-1947. Furthermore, Zachary Kingdon, Curator of African collections at World Museum will be exploring late 19th century carved elephant tusks from Loango in Central Africa on October 20.

We all had lots of fun in September with our Heritage in Focus events and we’ll be continuing with these every Wednesday on gallery between 3-4pm throughout October. It’s a great chance for you to meet our Education team and to look at some of the handling objects we normally use during our education sessions.

Also, if you’d ever wanted a take a closer look at our Archives collections, you can drop in to the Archives Uncovered sessions on October 9 & 16, where Lorna Hyland, Assistant Curator at the International Slavery Museum, will be showcasing some very interesting documents from the William Davenport collection. William Davenport (1725-1797) was an important Liverpool merchant and ship owner involved in the slave trade, as well as trading in beads, ivory, sugar, coffee and tobacco. This session includes a peek into his accounts ledger (1779-80) which covers the outfitting of the ships and accounts of enslaved African people sold in the West Indies, and also his letter book which has copies of his correspondence, such as letters of instruction for captains.

During October half-term we’ll be celebrating sound and have lots of hands on activities for all the family. The fabulous Paper Moon artists will also be coming along – this time to help us make tote bags using Adinkra symbols! We’ll also be making shakers and will have mark making and collage activities inspired by music of Black origin. We will also be welcoming Karim Mbaye of Mbaye African Drumming who will be here to perform on October 29, 30, and 31.

There’s so much going on during the month of October and we’d love to see you.”

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