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Of rights and resistance

28 March 2018 by Stef

Typeface and poster created by 3rd year student Tom Appleton that relates to the student gun protests in the USA

Typeface and poster created by 3rd year student Tom Appleton that relates to the student gun protests in the USA

To mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr, International Slavery Museum are hosting a two week public display of graphic design and illustration created by students and staff at Liverpool John Moores University in response to the museum’s civil rights and legacies of slavery collections.

Graphic Arts students Tom Appleton and Vicki Hesketh discuss the development of the project and what we can expect to see in their public display Of rights and resistance. Read more…

Easter at the Museums

22 March 2018 by Megan

Hop along to your local museum for a free dose of Easter fun! We have a fantastic selection of events, activities and new exhibitions there’s something for everyone to be ‘egg-cited’ about at National Museums Liverpool this Easter. Read more…

10 Black Women Achievers celebrated in Museum

8 March 2018 by Richard

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock. Space Scientist; STFC fellow for public outreach. Photographed in Astrium EAD’s semi-anechoic (satellite) testing chamber, in Portsmouth. Image © Max Alexander.

Here at the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, we have added 10 new Black women achievers on to our Black Achievers Wall this March as part of the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage.

The new additions include an inspirational list of women from various professions and backgrounds who have been – and are – pioneers.

From the first Black woman to have a film produced by a major Hollywood studio to the first Black woman to sit in the cabinet of the UK government, these achievers have set the bar for future generations to aspire to.

We are also pleased to announce two Liverpool based achievers, Michelle Charters, CEO of the Kuumba Imani Centre and Councillor Anna Rothery, Mayoral Lead for Equalities, who continue to support the BAME communities in the city and actively fight ongoing discrimination and prejudice.

The full list is:

  • Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock

Scientist, educator and science advocate. Maggie Aderin-Pocock is an honorary research fellow in University College London’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. In 2009 she received an MBE for her services to science and education. In 2014 she became co-presenter of the long-running TV programme The Sky at Night.

  • Baroness Valerie Amos

Born in British Guiana (now Guyana), she became the first Black woman to sit in the UK Cabinet when Secretary of State for International Development in 2003. She served as UN Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator and in 2015 became Director of SOAS University of London

  • Michelle Charters

Community Activist and CEO of Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre in Toxteth, Liverpool   The multi-purpose centre was the vision of the Liverpool Black Sisters, an organisation formed in the 1970’s to address the many forms of discrimination experienced by the Black community. She is the Founding Chair of the Merseyside Black History Month Group and first Black woman to be appointed a Trustee of the Everyman & Playhouse Theatres in Liverpool

  • Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm

    Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm. Brooklyn born politician and educator who became the first Black US congresswoman. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress

Brooklyn born politician and educator who became the first Black US congresswoman. A founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus and National Women’s Political Caucus. In 1972 she campaigned for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.

  • Lois K. Alexander Lane

Arkansas born founder of the Harlem Institute of Fashion (1966) and the Black Fashion Museum in New York City (1979). The Institute offered free courses on dressmaking, millinery and tailoring. Lane wrote Blacks in the History of Fashion (1982) which dispelled the myth that Black people were newcomers to the fashion industry.

  • Wangari Maathai

Internationally renowned Kenyan environmental activist and politician. Wangari Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement empowering local communities to work together to combat de-forestation and protect their environment and their future. In 2004, she became the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, for ‘her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace’.

  • Zanele Muholi

Photographer and visual activist. Zanele Muholi aims to use her photography to effect social change. An ardent advocate of LGBT+ communities everywhere, she has become known globally with her series of pioneering portrait photography of South Africa’s LGBT+ communities. Her work is represented in museums and collections around the world.

  • Euzhan Palcy

Martinique born film director, writer and producer. The first Black director to win a French César award for the acclaimed 1983 film Sugar Cane Alley (Rue Cases Nègres). In 1989 she was the first Black woman to have a film produced by a major Hollywood studio. The film, A Dry White Season, looked at the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa

  • Paulette Randall

London born theatre and television director. A former Artistic Director of the Black led Talawa Theatre Company; Paulette Randall has directed and produced numerous productions, including collaborating on the spectacular opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. She received an MBE in 2015 for her services to drama.

  • Anna Rothery

Labour Councillor for Princes Park Ward in Liverpool since 2006. Anna Rothery has been active in promoting participation of BAME (Black Asian and Minority Ethnic) communities in civic life. She became the first Liverpool Councillor to speak on the floor at the United Nations in 2012 and was made Mayoral Lead for Equalities with specific responsibility for race equality in 2017.

Euzhan Palcy. Martinique born film director, writer and producer. In 1989 she was the first Black woman to have a film produced by a major Hollywood studio, A Dry White Season, which looked at the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. Image © Presidence de la République _ P. Segrette.

Celebrate International Women’s Day at National Museums Liverpool

6 March 2018 by Laura

National Museums Liverpool is marking International Women’s Day (Thursday 8 March) with a programme of free exhibitions and events on the day and the following weekend (Saturday 10 and 11 March).

Through exhibitions, talks, workshops and poetry there are a variety of ways for everyone to get involved and celebrate this important date.

Gallery

‘Taking Liberties’ at Museum of Liverpool

Read more…

The year of the dog

15 February 2018 by Scott Smith

February marks the start of the new lunar year, and it’s during this time that millions of people across the world will gather to celebrate Chinese New Year. Starting on 16 February, we’ll have seven days of joyous festivities filled with fireworks, lanterns and revelry as the city is lit up in red.

This year is the beginning of the Year of the Dog, defined by the Chinese zodiac cycle. Dogs are the eleventh sign in the zodiac and are seen as independent, sincere and decisive. Honest and loyal, dogs are the truest friends and most reliable partners. Those born in 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 all fall under the year of the dog.

To celebrate man’s most faithful of friends, we’ve pulled together a list of dogs from across National Museums Liverpool’s collections and exhibitions.

‘Table d’Hote at a Dogs’ Home’ by John Charles Dollman

Read more…

Fun for families at the International Slavery Museum

12 January 2018 by Stef

man holding up colourful hand-made paper masks in traditional African designs

Yazz delivering the African masks hands-on activity

Find out more about the fantastic family events coming up at International Slavery Museum with Education Demonstrator Yazz:

“I hope you all enjoyed visiting the International Slavery Museum in 2017. Dorcas Seb’s spoken work performance for Human Rights Day was a highlight of the year for me! What was your highlight of 2017?

It’s a new year and there are more exciting events to come as part of our 10th anniversary programme- I think that 2018 might even prove to be our best year yet!

We have some fantastic special events coming up for families and our younger visitors. Are you looking for fun, free activities for all the family? If so, now is the time to sit back, relax with a cup of tea and let me tell you what events are coming up for you.

January is packed with creative family workshops and you can even join us to learn new skills in two amazing artist-led workshops. Read more…

Adult creative workshops

21 December 2017 by Adam

printing cut-out letters on paper

© A Wilson Photography

The International Slavery Museum is collaborating with experienced artists from a variety of specialities in order to offer a rolling series of free adult art workshops for ages 16+.

There are boundless creative and therapeutic benefits to participating in adult art workshops (as well as all of the fun we have doing them). So what better way is there to explore our world class collections? Read more…

Peter Banasko – one of the true greats

30 October 2017 by Sarah

Peter Banasko. Courtesy of the Banasko family

Today we have a guest blog by Peter Banasko. He is writing about his father, also called Peter Banasko – a Liverpool lad who became a world-class boxer and was asked to fight before the Prince of Wales, Prince George and Lord Lonsdale. He later became an incredibly successful coach and manager. However, Peter also grew up during the era of the Colour Bar and this blog highlights the prejudices he faced. It is a fascinating local and community history and we wanted to run it during Black History Month. With thanks to the Banasko family for submitting it to us:

Peter Emmanuel Banasko 1915-1993

“Peter Banasko was born and grew up in Liverpool. He was the only child of a mixed marriage. His father, Isaac Immanuel Banasko came from the Gold Coast, Ghana. His mother Lillian Banasko, nee Doyle, came from Liverpool.

“He was named in the birthday celebration of 800 people who put Liverpool on the map. (Liverpool Echo 28/08/2007)

“He attended St. Malachy’s School and started his amateur boxing in 1929 at the famous St. Malachy’s boxing gym. By the time he was 14 he had participated in over 100 fights. At the age of 13, having over 40 undefeated contests to his credit, he claimed the distinction of being the first Liverpool boxer to bring home to Liverpool a British Title by becoming the schoolboy champion of Great Britain in 1929 and again in 1930.

“He was invited to box before the Prince of Wales, Prince George and Lord Lonsdale.

Peter Banasko coaching. Courtesy of the Banasko family.

“At 17 he turned professional under the management of the Liverpool Stadium Promoter, Johnny Best Senior.

“Some said he was the best of the best but unfortunately for Banasko he fought during the era of the infamous ‘Colour Bar’ that forbade any non-white fighter from contesting for a national title. Again this vicious prejudice was evidenced in his marriage to Margaret McNerney, a Liverpool girl. A 300 signature petition was actioned to try and stop this marriage; it was unsuccessful.

“He was the first black manager/trainer in Liverpool, indeed in the UK. He was a friend of Douglas Collister (United Africa Co.) and also Jack Farnsworth (British West Africa CO). Because of this by the early 1950s Banasko and Liverpool were a household names in Lagos.

“His reputation as an excellent manager spread to the Gold Coast.

“According to the boxing purists at that time the black boxers fought in a distinct ‘unscientific’ style; they failed to master ‘the noble art’. However, their performances in the ring soon shattered these stereotypes. Banasko was a contributing factor in this change of opinion. When opposing boxers where facing the ‘Banasko camp’ it was not the boxer they feared but Banasko because of his knowledge and expertise.

“Banasko gained the rank of sergeant with the Royal Berkshire Regiment. His request for a commission was turned down. He was advised he would stand a better chance of a commission if he joined the Indian Army!

“This prejudice came up again when Hogan Kid Bassey won the British Empire Featherweight title. He told Banasko in the dressing room after the fight that he wanted a change of manager. Bassey had been convinced that he would not get any further in his career under a black manager. Banasko, disgusted with this prejudice and gutted by Bassey’s disloyalty, parted from the sport he loved.

“Ian Hargraves in his article in the Liverpool Echo (November 30th 1993) ‘Salute to boxing’s unsung hero’ on his death in November 1993 summed it up completely by stating:

Peter Banasko… a rare talent – one of the true greats’ “.

Peter Banasko and the boxers he coached to success. Courtesy of Banasko family.

 

If you enjoyed this blog, you might be interested in our Black History Month events throughout October.

 

Francois Piquet talks about Timalle

24 October 2017 by Sarah

Man with red sculpture - screenshot from Timalle film

Image taken from a screenshot of “Timalle”. A Film by Francois Piquet, 2017

Have you seen the Timalle artwork in our Ink and blood; Stories of abolition exhibition yet? It features draft reparations forms and is a re-enactment, through sculpture and performance, of the enslavement process. It is the first time this piece of contemporary art has been displayed in Europe. Come and see it for yourself at the International Slavery Museum. Or you can also watch an extract of Timalle film, by Francois Piquet, and listen to him blogging about why he created his artwork, and what it means: Read more…

Marilyn’s personal Sankofa journey across the Atlantic

23 October 2017 by Mitty

group photo of smiling people in a car

Marilyn with her activist artist friends

This summer I was fortunate to meet Marilyn Young, when she made her second visit to Liverpool. Marilyn is an independent researcher from the US, whose interest in Black diasporic communities has taken her all over the world.

In this guest blog, Marilyn describes how retracing cities along the Atlantic has led to her personal Sankofa journey.

“I was born in the state of Alabama so naturally I’m familiar with the topic of the transatlantic slave trade. But visiting Liverpool for the first time 10 years ago struck me and in many ways started my Sankofa journey.

I saw what my ancestors experienced from another side of the Atlantic and this piqued my interest to dig deeper.  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.