Liverpool’s 20 anniversary of Slavery Remembrance Day
Slavery Remembrance Day has been marked on 23 August in Liverpool since 1999 and this is the city’s 20th year of celebration, commemoration and remembrance.
Dr Richard Benjamin, Head of the International Slavery Museum said: ““In uncertain and divisive times the legacies of transatlantic slavery – intolerance, racism, discrimination and hate crime – thrive. That is why it has never been more important to support and get involved in Slavery Remembrance Day. In our 20th year, we’re inviting people to be active, to show their solidarity by walking”.
23 August, Walk of Remembrance, 11am, city centre (meet at Church street bandstand)
Remember ancestors and the people who, deprived of their liberty, enabled Britain and 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.
Liverpool’s role in the transatlantic slave trade: why Liverpool?
Liverpool was the European capital of the transatlantic slave trade, responsible for half of Britain’s trade. More than 4,500 slaver ship voyages were made from the city. The ships set sail from Liverpool with goods and weapons, which were exchanged for enslaved men, women and children mainly on the west coast of Africa who were then taken across the Atlantic in a horrific journey known as ‘the Middle Passage’. Ships departing Liverpool would go on to carry an estimated 1.5 million enslaved Africans into slavery.
Slavery Remembrance Day: why is it 23 August?
UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation – chose the 23 August as the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition (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.