Blog

Freeing those trapped by the ‘bonds of debt’

26 January 2016 by Alison

Urmila (Indian lady) holds up her identity card

© Image courtesy of International Justice Mission: Urmila becomes a first time voter at the age of 75.

According to Hannah Flint, Regional Development Executive, North of England – INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE MISSION® UK: “There are two reasons why I have loved working for International Justice Mission (IJM); the people I work with, and the people I work for. My colleagues in IJM India work alongside local authorities to rescue thousands of victims of slavery and trafficking each year. 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.

Schools’ views! – Fundamental British Values

14 January 2016 by Sarah

Emy O and childrenEmy Onuora, author of Pitch Black, is our guest writer this week. Find out what happened when Emy came to the Museum to facilitate a day-long event for schools on the subject of Fundamental British Values for Liverpool Schools Parliament and Takeover Day:  Read more…

Should young people have the right to vote on laws which affect them?

8 January 2016 by Sarah

Takeover blog 1

This was one of the questions sparking debate and creativity during the Human Rights School’s Parliament at the International Slavery Museum.

We were fortunate on the day to be joined by fantastic participants from Childwall Sports and Science Academy, Sandfield Park School, Calderstones School and Weatherhead High School. Read more…

A year in blogs – our top 5 stories from 2015!

31 December 2015 by Lisa

Mother and sons with Jubilee decorations

Silver Jubilee street party, June 1977, Old Swan, Liverpool

As 2015 draws to a close, we’re looking back on some of the most popular stories from the blog this year. We began the year by revealing how the Walker Art Gallery’s Henry VIII portrait was used as inspiration for the costumes in BBC drama series, ‘Wolf Hall’ – and we ended the year with our celebrations at World Museum for the amazing blast off of Tim Peake!

But which are the stories that have captured your imagination this year? Here are are the top five stories from our blog that you’ve been enjoying the most in 2015… *drum roll please* Read more…

Send our supa Christmas e-cards!

22 December 2015 by Sam

Christmas super hero illustration

Afro Supa® Santa

I love Christmas and I love counting down the days in December on our online advent calendar. However, as I tick off the days to Christmas, no matter how organised I’ve been and no matter how early I start my pressie shopping and card writing, I can never shake off that feeling at the back of my mind that I might have forgotten something or someone… There are just never enough hours in the day once you’ve opened that first box of mince pies and surrendered to the festive season.

Yesterday was the last posting date for sending Christmas cards first class in the UK post. But don’t worry if you haven’t written all your cards yet, for help is here – Afro Supa® Santa could save the day!

This very festive super hero is a special addition to our range of free Christmas e-cards for 2015. Not only does he bring Christmas cheer but also news of a fantastic exhibition for the New Year. Read more…

International Human Rights Day : what’s on?

7 December 2015 by Angelica

Hands of Change: a photo of the artwork created by the participants from City Hearts

Human Rights Day is observed by the international community every year on 10 December.

This marks the day in 1948 that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This important document sets out fundamental human rights to be universally protected for all. Read more…

Telling the story

16 November 2015 by Alison

Indian girl with samll baby

Photo © Catherine Rubin Kermorgant. Lakshmi, 14 was dedicated by her aunt, against the will of her mother.

At 1pm on Saturday 21 November, we welcome Catherine Rubin Kermorgant (author of ‘Servants of the Goddess’), to a special event at the International Slavery Museum: ‘Telling the Story’

Catherine is one of three authors taking part in the event, all of whom have been inspired to write books about modern slavery in India.

Here we talk to Catherine about what first inspired her to put pen to paper, and about the impact that working with the devadasis of India has had on her own life. Read more…

Claim no easy victories: Cape Verde and Cabral

12 November 2015 by Richard

Poetry performance at Cidade Velha

Poetry performance at Cidade Velha

Hello,

I have just returned from Cape Verde where I attended a committee meeting and colloquium in my role as the UK representative of the UNESCO Slave Route project. Read more…

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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Welcome to the National Museums Liverpool blog! Written by our staff and volunteers, we’ll give you a peek behind the scenes of our museums and galleries.

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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.