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Slavery Remembrance Day 2016

Walk of Remembrance on 23 August

National Museums Liverpool has three days of commemoration, celebration and remembrance planned for the city’s 17th annual Slavery Remembrance Day, which is marked on 23 August.

The city has been at the forefront of Slavery Remembrance Day commemorations since they began in 1999.

UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation – chose the 23 August as it commemorates an uprising of enslaved Africans on the island of Saint-Domingue (modern Haiti) in 1791. The day pays homage to the many lives lost as a result of the transatlantic slave trade, it remembers Liverpool’s role as the main European slaving port, and it also celebrates the survival and development of African and Caribbean cultures.

Everyone is invited to remember ancestors and the individuals who, deprived of their liberty, enabled the port of Liverpool to thrive by joining the Walk of Remembrance (Tuesday 23 August at 11am) through the City Centre on Slavery Remembrance Day. This has been taking place since 2011 in Liverpool and will this year be led by community representatives including the family of Dorothy Kuya, a woman described as ‘Liverpool’s greatest fighter against racism’.

Dr. Richard Benjamin, Head of the International Slavery Museum, who said:

“Slavery Remembrance Day is a vital event not only for the International Slavery Museum but for Liverpool and the country as a whole. It not only commemorates the lives and deaths of millions of Africans enslaved during the period of the transatlantic slave trade, but recognises their resilience and resistance too.

“We also live with the legacies of transatlantic slavery and enslavement, such as racism and discrimination and ongoing inequalities, injustices and exploitation and that is why the International Slavery Museum is a campaigning museum – promoting social justice through it’s work.”

The Walk of Remembrance concludes after about 30-40 minutes outside the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr building where there will be public performances, before a Libation – an ancient spiritual ceremony, which involves an offering – is performed to commemorate and pay tribute to those affected by slavery. For the last 17 years, people have converged in Liverpool for this traditional ceremony to remember ancestors of African and Caribbean heritage and the enslaved.

The public performances have been programmed by Nothin But The Music, a creative music agency that curates all types of events and projects both nationally and internationally, which “is honoured to be able to curate some of the artistic performances for Slavery Remembrance Day 2016”.

Slavery Remembrance Day events are organised by National Museums Liverpool in partnership with Liverpool City Council.

The International Slavery Museum highlights the international importance of enslavement and slavery, both in a historic and modern context. Working in partnership with other organisations with a focus on freedom and enslavement, the Museum also provides opportunities for greater awareness and understanding of the legacies of slavery today.

Our Slavery Remembrance Day events include:

  • 19 August – Family Friendly Day
    International Slavery Museum, 11am – 4pm. Free. Drop-in event.
    Our family-friendly Slavery Remembrance Day activities include drumming workshops, face painting, screen printing, and lots more.
  • 22 August – Dorothy Kuya Slavery Remembrance Lecture
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr building. Doors open from 5pm. Free. Booking required.
    Delivered by BAFTA and MOBO award-winning hip hop artist, writer/poet and historian Akala, this year’s Lecture will explore the Haitian Revolution, which Slavery Remembrance Day commemorates. The lecture is fully booked currently, but returns may become available, so please check back on Eventbrite: www.eventbrite.com/e/2016-dorothy-kuya-slavery-remembrance-lecture-tickets-26370536986

Around the Lecture, there will also be public performances. Spxken – The duo that consist of Jay Angelo and TeeSoulFul make up Spxken (pronounced spoken). Nothin But The Music has worked with TeeSoulFul on a special spoken word piece for Slavery Remembrance Day 2016 which focuses on Revolution and Remembrance. Spxken who attended LIPA (Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts) have honed their writing and spoken word abilities over the last few years and we’re sure you will all enjoy this exclusive piece.

Further to a documentary making session at the International Slavery Museum last week with Jernice Easthope, a short film created by our participants tackling the themes of Revolution and Remembrance will be shown to the public for the first time.

Terri Walker – Terri Walker is an award-winning über-successful international R&B and soul singer/songwriter, with Terri’s wonderful songwriting abilities and her amazing voice, Nothin But The Music felt like she would be the perfect artist to sing a few songs dedicated to the spirit of this occasion.

  • Performances (12-12.30pm)
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr building. Free. Drop-in events.
    Including a collaborative performance by local artists Amique, Raheem Alameen and Spxken (pronounced Spoken), known as ‘Revelation to Revolution’. Artistically directed by Amique, the group have produced a special music medley that speaks to the spirit of Slavery Remembrance Day.

    • Libation ceremony (12.50-1.15pm)
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr building. Free. Drop-in events.
    A public Libation is an ancient spiritual ceremony, which involves an offering to commemorate and pay tribute to those affected by slavery.

For further details on our lecture and all other Slavery Remembrance Day events, please visit www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/srd

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