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Slavery Remembrance Day 2018

National Museums Liverpool is proud to announce the 2018 speaker for its Dorothy Kuya Slavery Remembrance Lecture, a keynote event during the two days of celebration, commemoration and remembrance it holds annually for Slavery Remembrance Day.

The Lecture will this year be delivered by Gina Belafonte, daughter of the legendary Harry Belafonte – the American singer, songwriter, actor and a social activist among Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s confidantes.

Gina is an artist and activist who has worked with her father on multiple productions. She is currently the co-director of Sankofa.org, a social justice organization founded by Harry Belafonte that educates, motivates, and activates artists and allies in service of grassroots movements and equitable change. It enlists the support of today’s most celebrated artists and influencers in collaboration with grassroots partners, to elevate the voices of those who find themselves disenfranchised from their communities to promote peace and equity.

Dr Richard Benjamin said:

“It is a pleasure to confirm Gina Belafonte as this year’s keynote speaker for the Dorothy Kuya Slavery Remembrance Lecture. Her father, Harry Belafonte, singer, actor, civil rights activist, friend and confidant to Dr Martin Luther King, Jr., not only attended the Museum’s opening in 2007 but is an honorary patron.  This propelled the Museum onto the world stage. Now we have the honour of welcoming Gina Belafonte, producer, actor, activist, and Co-Director of Sankora.org – like the Museum – a social justice organisation – to Liverpool. To have Gina speak at this prestigious event not only also allows us to develop closer links with Sankofa.org, who work with both grassroots and globally known artists to champion the disenfranchised, but allows Liverpool, a city known for its global artistic influences, to welcome back a member of the Belafonte family.”

Gina Belafonte said:

“I am deeply honoured to be asked to speak at the International Slavery Museum where my father was present for its inauguration.

“We will forever find desperate communities that need our support and services, and I believe that until we all as a global community have a real conversation about the oppression and violence against communities of colour and the poor, we will never hold ourselves accountable.”

The Lecture is free but booking is essential. You can reserve your tickets from 10.00am GMT on Friday 3 August from Eventbrite: www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/ginabelafonte

UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation – chose the 23 August as Slavery Remembrance Day because 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, and it also celebrates the survival and resilience of African and Caribbean people and their cultures.

Slavery Remembrance Day has been marked on 23 August in Liverpool since 1999 and this is the city’s 19th year of celebration, commemoration and remembrance. Liverpool was the European capital of the transatlantic slave trade, responsible for half of Britain’s trade. More than 5,000 slaver ship voyages were made from the city. The ships set sail from Liverpool with goods and franchise, which were exchanged for enslaved men, women and children on the west coast of Africa who were then taken across the Atlantic in a horrific journey known as ‘the Middle Passage’. Through these exchanges, ships departing Liverpool would go on to carry an estimated 1.5 million enslaved Africans into slavery.

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:

  • 22 August
  • Unity Carnival
    12-3pm, Dr Martin Luther King, Jr building
    Celebrate the strength of the human spirit. Our family-friendly Unity Carnival activities include African and Caribbean Street food, African market stalls, flag-making, face painting, screen printing, and lots more.
  • Dorothy Kuya Slavery Remembrance Lecture
    Doors 5pm, Lecture 5.30pm. Dr Martin Luther King, Jr building
    Delivered by Gina Belafonte, daughter of the legendary Harry Belafonte. Gina is an artist and activist who has worked with her father on multiple productions. She is currently the co-director of org, a social justice organization founded by Harry Belafonte that educates, motivates, and activates artists and allies in service of grassroots movements and equitable change.
  • 23 August
  • Walk of Remembrance11am, city centre (meet at Church street bandstand)
    Remember ancestors and the individuals who, deprived of their liberty, enabled the port of Liverpool to thrive by joining the Walk of Remembrance through the City Centre on Slavery Remembrance Day. The route takes in Liverpool One and passes the site of the historic Old Dock where slaver ships would once have moored and been repaired.
  • Libation 12pm, outside Merseyside Maritime MuseumA 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  #srdliverpool #celebrate #commemorate #remember

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