Blog

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. 

A visit to Tate – Glen Ligon : Encounters and Collisions

15 October 2015 by Richard

Glenn Ligon - Untitled 2006

Glenn Ligon Untitled 2006
© Glenn Ligon; courtesy Thomas Dane Gallery, London

In this guest blog, produced for Tate Liverpool, I talk of my recent visit to the gallery’s major exhibition curated by one of America’s most distinguished contemporary artists, Glenn Ligon (b.1960, New York) – Glenn Ligon: Encounters and Collisions.

My first guest blog for Tate Liverpool also happens to be during UK Black History Month (rather than US Black History Month which is in February).  Dr. Carter G. Woodson, often referred to as the father of African American history, established what was originally called ‘Negro History Week’ in 1926.   The week became a month, February chosen as it contains the birthdays of influential figures such as Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. It was against this backdrop that I visited Glenn Ligon: Encounters and Collisions at Tate Liverpool. Read more…

Thrown out of his village: now bringing hope to thousands

15 October 2015 by Alison

Kavi

Kumar Swamy is South India Director for the Dalit Freedom Network and is responsible for oversight of a range of on the ground education, healthcare and economic programmes run for the benefit of Dalit communities in India. These trafficking prevention projects are helping to bring about real change – not only freeing Dalits from modern forms of slavery, but freeing them from the factors that make them so vulnerable to exploitation and abuse in the first place. Here Kumar tells us of the challenges he faced growing up as a young Dalit boy in India, and of the work going on to bring about meaningful and long-lasting change in the country he loves. Read more…

Did you know Black boxers were banned from becoming British Champions until the 1940’s?

7 October 2015 by Sarah

Kid Tanner photoLiverpool journalist and author, Gary Shaw, writes for us ahead of his free talk at the International Slavery Museum on 10 October for Black History Month, on the rise and role of the colour bar in British boxing:

“Not a well-known aspect of sports history by academic, let alone popular historians, the rise and role of the colour bar in British boxing is a sorry tale of establishment resentment, colonial self-glorification and bureaucratic stubbornness that prevented a host of domestic fighters from competing for their own national titles as a professional due simply and sadly to the colour of their skin.

“Introduced almost in a fit of transatlantic pique by the semi-aristocratic owners and members of the National Sporting Club that ran British boxing at the time, the ban, informal at first but effective nevertheless, ran from 1911 until 1947, when pressure from papers, public and even Parliament forced the British Boxing Board of Control to repeal a clause they had embraced unquestionably on their formation as the governing body of the sport in 1929.

“For almost four decades, Britain was aligned with South Africa as the only countries in the world that prohibited black fighters from becoming national champions in their own country. The ban continued throughout the First and Second World Wars – the self-evident and tragic contradiction of the latter being one of the main reasons why calls for it to be repealed became so vociferous from 1944 onwards.

“My presentation touches on all these aspects, showing how wider social, economic and political arguments were used to highlight both the reasoning behind the ban’s introduction, and the rationale for its eventual abolition. In so doing, I will showcase a number of key individuals who, up until now, have rarely been referred to by historians of Black culture in Britain as well as the wider, and ever expanding, sports historian network”.

Find out more about Black History Month and our programme of free events throughout October.



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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.