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Black History Month is about the incredible impact of the Black diaspora on the world

11 October 2013 by Mitty

Elroy Josephz dancing

The story of influential dancer Elroy Josephz is explored in the exhibition ‘British dance: Black routes’. Image © Elroy Josephz archive, courtesy of Sue Lancaster and Steve Mulrooney

Black History Month, which we celebrate every October, is always a particularly busy time at the International Slavery Museum, and in the education team we are even busier! My untidy desk is proof of this.

Black History Month is great as it brings people to the museum who may not have had a chance to learn much about Black history before. Black history isn’t just about Transatlantic slavery but also the incredible impact people of the Black diaspora have had on the world.

Black heritage plays such an integral part in shaping Britain as we know it and I think that’s why it’s such an important month.

A part of me wishes that there wasn’t the need for Black History Month, that it could just be seen as part of British history. But with proposed plans recently (though these have now been revised) to take key Black historical figures from the national curriculum I think it’s ever more pressing that we celebrate October. Read more…

Liverpool, World Heritage Site

11 October 2013 by David Fleming

Merseyside Maritime Museum on sunny day with boats in dock

There is much activity surrounding Liverpool’s World Heritage Site status at the moment. For those of you who have missed it, much of Liverpool city centre has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, in recognition of the city’s remarkable wealth of buildings and structures that relate to the period when Liverpool was the premier port in the British Empire. This means that Liverpool’s heritage is ranked alongside the cities of Bruges, Prague and Salzburg and other celebrated heritage sites around the world such as Angkor Wat temple complex and the Taj Mahal – there are 981 in all, 28 of them in the UK. Read more…

All the World is Now Richer

16 September 2013 by Zachary

steel sculpture of six standing figures

All the World is Now Richer

This month Sokari Douglas Camp is exhibiting her series of six powerful welded steel sculpture at St Georges Hall just a stone’s throw from World Museum Liverpool. The exhibition, titled  All the World is Now Richer, has been installed in the Dickens & Gladstone Gallery and is a fitting commemoration for the abolition of slavery. Sokari’s steel figures stand strong and erect. They are modelled on people she remembers but they were inspired by a well known quotation from William Prescott, a former slave in the United States:

“They will remember that we were sold but they won’t remember that we were strong. They will remember that we were bought but not that we were brave”.

Read more…

New exhibition celebrating Black British dancers

6 September 2013 by Lucy Johnson

A dancer from the Jiving Lindy Hoppers performing at the Merseyside Maritime Museum

This week we have been taking down Oil Boom, Delta burns: photographs by George Osodi at the International Slavery Museum. It’s always sad to see a display close, but also a chance to put up an exciting, new exhibition! Read more…

Slavery Remembrance Day – the journey continues

5 September 2013 by Richard

Flower arrangement saying 'We remember'

Another Slavery Remembrance Day has now passed but this does not mean that we consign its message, what it means to the people of Liverpool and beyond, to one side for another year. The core message, that of “We remember” from the descendants of enslaved Africans, members of the Diaspora and the wider public only has meaning when we work to make sure that the sacrifices, and achievements, of the ancestors are recognized to make the world a better place. Idealistic, maybe, but without a “dream” the legacies of four hundred years of enslavement, and resistance, would be forgotten. The world is not yet a place with full equality and freedom for all, free from discrimination or racism, but it’s a place where many people refuse to let the past sleep, to go unrecognized.  Read more…

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. building

2 September 2013 by Richard

 Martin Luther King building

Richard Benjamin on the steps of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. building

On the 28th August we opened the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. building, which is next to the International Slavery Museum.  It was opened to the public just for the day, for a series of events to commemorate and celebrate the 50th anniversary of Dr King’s now iconic speech. This has became known as the “I Have a Dream” speech – delivered on the steps of the iconic Lincoln memorial in Washington, D.C. on a scorching hot summer’s day in 1963 to a crowd of over 250,000.

Read more…

Louise Ellman MP: “Slavery Remembrance Day fuses past and present”

19 August 2013 by Dickie

 

floral tributes on the dockside. Bright yellow and red wreaths with the words WE REMEMBER

Floral tributes at Slavery Remembrance Day

Guest blog by Louise Ellman, MP for Liverpool Riverside, who looks ahead to Slavery Remembrance Day which she believes fuses the past and the present. Mrs Ellman has attended every single Slavery Remembrance Day since 1999.

“Commemorating Slavery Remembrance Day in Liverpool is very special.  It is a grim reminder of the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade and an important part of the vital task of educating present and future generations about the enormity of this assault on human dignity and freedom. The consequences of the devastation it wrought on long-established African communities are still felt today.  Read more…

Join online discussion about Slavery Remembrance Day

16 August 2013 by Dickie

A head of shoulders image of Richard Benjamin  smiling

Dr Richard Benjamin

With Slavery Remembrance Day fast approaching (Friday 23 August), you are invited to take part in a special on-line discussion. Join Dr Richard Benjamin this Monday (19 August) between 3-4pm (UK time) when he’ll be live on Twitter.

Dr Benjamin is Head of the International Slavery Museum and will be on hand to answer any queries about this important week. Read more…

Money (That’s What I Want)

25 July 2013 by Richard

Blog

Hello,

Well in the words of the great Barrett Strong Money (That’s What I Want)”*Recently there has been some debate around the Bank of England’s plans to replace Elizabeth Fry with Winston Churchill in 2016 as the face on our £5 notes.  However, it has also been announced that Jane Austen will be the new face of the £10 note in 2017, an attempt at counterbalancing the lack of women.  People are right to scrutinize the individuals who are being considered-and that have appeared on previous notes-which clearly shows a lack of diversity, not becoming of a modern society. Now it is positive that Austen will indeed be seen on future currency but there will still be a lack of Black and Asian and other ethnically diverse faces.   Tokenism some may shout, maybe, but visibility and presence are often the first steps in people understanding how British society has “no singular ‘island story.’” Read more…

Which Black Briton should appear on a British bank note?

22 July 2013 by Dickie

olaudah_equiano_engraving

In 2016 Winston Churchill is set to replace Elizabeth Fry as the face on our fivers. It’s also been reported that Jane Austen is “waiting in the wings” to make her bow on a note sometime in the future. Which Black Briton do you think should appear on our bank notes? Dr Richard Benjamin, Head of the International Slavery Museum has made his choice. Read more…

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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.