Blog

Slavery “could be happening next door to you”

19 April 2016 by Sarah

King Street, Whitworth, Rochdale (c) Amy Romer

King Street, Whitworth, Rochdale (c) Amy Romer

Amy Romer is the author of The Dark Figure*, a photo project that documents modern neighbourhoods in the UK where men, women and children have been enslaved recently. She is our guest blogger this week: Read more…

Black Civil War Soldiers and Pensions

5 April 2016 by Sarah

Pension records about Benjamin Davis used during Holly's presentation. Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration

Original pension of minor children: pension records about Benjamin Davis used during Holly’s presentation. Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration

Ahead of the anniversary of the start of the Civil War  (12 April), Holly Pinheiro of the University of Iowa, writes a guest blog for us on Black soldiers in the Civil War, focussing on the families that they left behind:

“155 years ago, the Civil War began, though some would argue, rightfully so, that the conflict started well-before Confederate soldiers’ fired their guns on Fort Sumter.

“Without question, the Civil War redefined American society at every level, from the political culture, race relations, to the economy, at both the state and federal level. And, the war’s legacy and its meaning continues to remain a contentious issue in American society. Read more…

UK’s First Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner visits: delivers CSIS Lecture 2016

16 March 2016 by Sarah

Kevin Hyland, OBE and the UK's first independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner delivering the CSIS annual lecture

Kevin Hyland, OBE and the UK’s first independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner delivering the CSIS annual lecture at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. building.

On Monday, Kevin Hyland, OBE and the UK’s first Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, visited Liverpool and delivered the 2016 Annual Lecture for the Centre for the Study of International Slavery  at our Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. building.

In case you missed it, here’s an overview by Dr Alex Balch, co-Director of the Centre for the Study of International Slavery (CSIS):  Read more…

Real life super heroes – Natasha Jonas

10 March 2016 by Sam

Natasha Jonas wearing her boxing gloves

Image © Kelly Irvine

With the upcoming Afro Supa Hero exhibition we’ve been talking about real life super heroes and the people who inspire us. The Liverpool boxer Natasha Jonas is a great inspiration to me – here’s her story, in her own words:

“I come from an unconventional, freakishly large family who were all born, raised and live in Toxteth. In the house I grew up in I was the eldest of all the girls, but had two elder boy cousins. I adored these two older lads, they were my heroes. I was with them all the time – climbing trees, playing football, bmx-ing – and from that I gained a real love of sports.

The first time I watched the Olympics on TV I was 4. I was totally amazed and screamed for my mum to come and watch it with me. By the end of the programme I told her, with a matter of fact face “Mum, I’m going to be there”.  Read more…

Fair Trade and Supply Chains: History, Policy and Action

19 February 2016 by Sarah

Joe Kelly, a PhD researcher with the University of Liverpool and International Slavery Museum, who has put together an online exhibition about Abercrombie Square

Joe Kelly, PhD researcher with the University of Liverpool and International Slavery Museum

You may have seen discussions in the news about fair trade and supply chains recently? And Fairtrade Fortnight 2016 is fast approaching…

On 1 March, we are bringing together experts to discuss the Modern Slavery Act, and its ability to deal with British companies profiting from modern slavery in their supply chains.

This will be followed by a guided tour of our ‘Broken Lives: Slavery in Modern India’ exhibition.

Ahead of this, we’re speaking to Joe Kelly, an ESRC funded PhD researcher with the University of Liverpool and International Slavery Museum. His work focuses on the relationship between British businesses in the post-emancipation period. Here’s Joe’s guest-blog…. Read more…

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…



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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.