Bicentenary of the Abolition of Slavery

Children and the Lord Mayor
Children and the Lord Mayor

Story & photos: Camille Daughma

The commemoration event – 200 years since the abolition of the slave trade – was held on the 27th March at the Winter Gardens and hosted by Lord Mayor Jackie Drayton. Seated serenely among the greenery, we were far removed from the reality of the horrors of slavery.

Children from SADACCA’s Study Support Group presented readings about black individuals – both men and women – who became martyrs for the cause of freedom, reminding us that abolition was possible only because these individuals stood up and were counted. They included Sam Sharpe, Cojoe, Copie, and Nanny of the Maroons.

A woman speaks
A woman speaks

Legacy of slavery

There were speakers from the African Caribbean community. One spoke of the legacy of slavery that has left our children marginalized. The reality of institutional racism comes from slavery – where we are seen as less capable and more as property. We were used to build this country, yet unworthy of enjoying the benefits of our own labour. We are used as society’s scapegoat. The lack of acknowledgement of the harm done to us as a people and the gap it created in Africa’s economy remain issues to be addressed.

Addressing racism

Jonathan Crossley-Holland – the council’s Executive Director for Education – reminded us that there needs to be more done to address racism. He acknowledged that Britain’s wealth is directly attributed to the slave trade. He hoped that, with time, children from African and Caribbean backgrounds would be given equal opportunity in schools and allowed to develop to their true potential.

In the Lord Mayor’s closing words, she hoped that 200 years from now they wouldn’t be standing there repeating the same situation but that equality amongst all would be achieved.

To conclude, the African group performed the freedom song,

“I will never be a slave any more.”

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The content on this page was added to the website by Derrick Okrah on 2007-05-31 21:34:34.
The content of the page was last modified by Jamie Marriott on 2007-06-04 17:05:12.

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