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23 November 2016 by Mitty

exploring Liverpool's Black history at a Sankofa event

I’ve been given a really exciting opportunity work on the Sankofa project, which aims to support Black communities in Liverpool with looking after their precious objects and materials and hopefully making this material more accessible.

This task, as well as being incredibly exciting, is also quite daunting. Many of you might already be aware that Liverpool has the oldest Black community in Europe but what evidence is there of this? And what information do we have about more recent migrations of people of the African diaspora to Liverpool? Read more…

Hot off the Press: Black Panther Newspapers arrive at the International Slavery Museum

31 October 2016 by Sarah

One of the newspaper issues.

One of the Black Panther Intercommunal News Service newspaper issues. Courtesy of National Museums Liverpool

October is the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party and Black History Month in the UK. So, what better time to announce our acquisition of twenty one copies of the ‘Black Panther Intercommunal News Service’ than today?  Read more…

Spotlight on: Slavery Remembrance Day

27 October 2016 by Sarah

The Libation ceremony

The Libation ceremony

National Museums Liverpool is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and we are also in Black History Month for the UK.

So in today’s blog, we’re taking a special look at Slavery Remembrance Day, which falls on 23 August. Read more…

Jon Daniel’s supa family reunions

25 October 2016 by Sarah

Barbados family reunion, on board the Jolly Roger. Courtesy of Jon Daniel.

Barbados family reunion, on board the Jolly Roger. That’s Jon, on the right! Courtesy of Jon Daniel.

Jon Daniel, whose collection features in our Afro Supa Hero exhibition, blogs about his earliest memories of family reunions and Bajan heritage for Black History Month, and ahead of the 50th anniversary of independence for Barbados on 30 November. He introduces a very special author too – his Aunty Jean. Jon says: Read more…

Photos from Slavery Remembrance Day 2016

21 October 2016 by Sarah

Dr Richard Benjamin, Head of the International Slavery Museum and Akala on the steps of the Dr Martin Luther King, Jr building.

Dr Richard Benjamin, Head of the International Slavery Museum and Akala on the steps of the Dr Martin Luther King, Jr building. Courtesy of Dave Jones Photography

Almost 9,000 of you visited the International Slavery Museum, part of National Museums Liverpool, in the week of Slavery Remembrance Day this year. Read more…

“Unbought and unbossed” – Shirley Chisholm for President.

12 October 2016 by Sarah

Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas-ed. Sam Durant. Rizzoli, 2007.

Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas. Ed. Sam Durant. Rizzoli, 2007.

Today’s blog by Dyana Saad is about Shirley Chisholm, the first African American and first woman to run for presidency. She was endorsed by the Black Panther Party. But not many people know of her. During October, which is both Black History Month and marks the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party, we share her history. Read more…

Black Tommies: British Soldiers of African Descent in the First World War

3 October 2016 by Sarah

black-tommies-blog-size-imageOn Friday 7th October at 2pm, Dr Ray Costello will be giving a talk at the Anthony Walker Education Centre at the International Slavery Museum, focusing on his recently published book, ‘Black Tommies: British Soldiers of African Descent in the First World War’. Ray tells us more ahead of the free talk, part of our Black History Month event series, which we hope you can join:

“This is the first book dedicated to the part played by Black soldiers in the British regular army, rather than colonial units, during the First World War.

“This forgotten group of participants in the First World War are those Black Britons, already resident in the British Isles at the outbreak of hostilities, who enlisted to fight for King and Country. Not least were the locally born Black communities in Britain’s docklands districts, of several generations’ standing in some cases, also answering the nation’s need.

“Members of the Liverpool Black community, the oldest in Europe in terms of continuous presence, are able to trace their roots from the eighteenth century and have fought in all of Britain’s wars throughout the last two centuries. In this talk, the names of some of those who served will be recognised today in the modern Liverpool Black Community.

untold-stories-unknown-soldier-crop

“If Black British colonial troops have been long ignored by historians, the existence of any narrative around Black British soldiers enlisting in the United Kingdom is equally unknown, even in military circles. Although Black colonial overseas troops fighting for Britain are only now slipping into books and media, ‘under the radar’, so to speak, ‘home-grown’ and UK-domiciled Black soldiers are still largely unrecognised and deserve to be  more widely popularised”.

View all of our FREE Black History Month events throughout October

 

 

A Supa Show for a Supa City

13 May 2016 by Sarah

AfroSupaLightNight_500px_SQ

Afro Supa® Star Twins © Jon Daniel. Afro Supa® is a registered trademark owned by Jon Daniel. All Rights Reserved.

Afro Supa Hero opens at the International Slavery Museum today. Here, award-winning creative director, Jon Daniel, whose personal collection of comics, action figures and games are displayed, tells us about the inspiration for the exhibition and what he hopes you will take away from your visit:

“The advent of my Afro Supa® Hero exhibition, launching this Friday 13th on LightNight represents an exciting and very important milestone in my journey so far.  Read more…

Black Germans and the Holocaust: The Aftermath

20 January 2016 by Adam

This photograph shows two Afro-German women who survived Nazi persecution in a bar which Black survivors set up in Berlin after the war. They both featured in last year's lecture on Black Germans and the Holocaust.

This photograph shows two Afro-German women who survived Nazi persecution in a bar which Black survivors set up in Berlin after the war. They both featured in last year’s lecture on Black Germans and the Holocaust.

The International Slavery Museum will be marking Holocaust Memorial Day in January 2016 with a special free guest lecture by Professor Eve Rosenhaft from the University of Liverpool, who will be talking about the experiences of the Black German community in the aftermath of World War Two.

Like me, you may have been moved and intrigued by the resilience of individuals highlighted in Professor Rosenhaft’s previous lecture on Black Germans during the Holocaust, so this will be an opportunity both for people new to this history as well as those of us keen to explore further.

Eve tells us more:

“Hitler’s racist policies and the upheavals of the Second World War interrupted the growth of Germany’s first Black community, damaging individuals and families. This lecture explores what happened after the end of the war, as Holocaust survivors tried to rebuild their lives, and a new generation of Afro-Germans tested the democratic values of the new West Germany.

“When Hitler came to power, there was a growing Black community in Germany, made up of people from Germany’s former colonies and their children and grandchildren as well as Africans and African Americans. They had formed social networks and political organisations, and were in contact with people of African descent in the United States and France.

“The racist and genocidal policies pursued by the Nazi regime left Black men and women damaged by internment, forced labour and sterilisation and families broken and dispersed. This lecture explores developments after the end of World War Two, when Black Holocaust survivors sought to rebuild their lives and networks in a divided Europe. Against this background a new generation of Black Germans, the children of American occupation soldiers, began to grow up, challenging the young West German democracy to prove that Nazi racism was a thing of the past”.

Black Germans and the Holocaust: The Aftermath is on Saturday 23 January 2015 in the Anthony Walker Education Centre at the International Slavery Museum. This is a free talk and all are welcome.

Additional events will be taking place during Holocaust Memorial Day on Wednesday January 27th. English Cabaret with Kilmuir Papers will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, with a moving cycle of songs and readings. The first performance will take place at 1pm at the International Slavery Museum and the second performance will take place at the Museum of Liverpool at 2.30pm. These performances are free and all are welcome.

Forgotten? : Black Soldiers in the Battle of Waterloo

21 October 2015 by Sarah

The Recruitment Officer c1815, showing a Black trumpeter rallying locals. It is exceptionally rare to find an image depicting a Black soldier at the Battle of Waterloo. Image reproduced by permission of Leslie Braine-Ikomi

The Recruitment Officer c1815, showing a Black trumpeter rallying locals. It is exceptionally rare to find an image depicting a Black soldier at the Battle of Waterloo. Image reproduced by permission of Leslie Braine-Ikomi

As we are now remembering and commemorating the Centenary of the First World War, Black British colonial troops are only now receiving attention by historians. 2015 is also the bicentenary of another great conflict, the Battle of Waterloo, and on 24th October at 1pm Dr Ray Costello will focus on another group of soldiers of African descent, Black soldiers who fought at the Battle of Waterloo a century earlier than the Great War. Here, Ray writes a blog for us ahead of his talk at the International Slavery Museum:

“If Black British colonial troops have been long neglected by historians, the existence of any narrative around Black British soldiers enlisting in the United Kingdom in the Napoleonic Wars is even less known. Black soldiers based in the United Kingdom would seem to have been a component of the British army for a very long time and there is some evidence to suggest that the British Army actively sought black soldiers during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

“Individual Black soldiers are known to have taken part in many of the Napoleonic war campaigns, including the Battle of Toulouse, the Peninsular War, Quatre Bra, and the final battle to defeat the French Emperor Napoleon at Waterloo in June 1815.

“Who were these Black soldiers and where were they from? Whilst the majority of Black soldiers found can be identified as coming from the West Indies, reflecting the slave trade, others came in roughly equal measure from Africa, continental North America, (i.e. the United States and Canada), the East Indies and Britain and Ireland. The 88th Foot had a number of Black soldiers serving with it in the Peninsular Campaign, and even after the Napoleonic Wars continued to recruit Black soldiers. One or two were even British-born, as Black people were being born in such ports at Liverpool at that time.

“Both before and after the Battle of Waterloo, amongst other regiments, black individuals were to be found in the 13th light dragoons, the 10th Hussars and the 88th Foot. After the Napoleonic Wars, we also look at what happened to those who had taken part. Did some receive medals? Who looked after them in their declining years and did they receive pensions?

“Although the numbers of Black soldiers may have been relatively small compared with the thousands who fought and died in this epic battle, the aim is to give these soldiers of African descent a deserved face and draw attention to the interest and importance of a previously under-researched history. I am inviting you to come along to the International Slavery Museum to listen to these forgotten accounts, and to perhaps rethink your perceptions of this phase of military history.”

Hear more from Dr Ray Costello this weekend, at his Black Soldiers at Waterloo talk at the International Slavery Museum – Saturday 24 October at 1pm. Part of our Black History Month 2015 event series. 



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We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.