Pan Africanism : Slavery Remembered In Liverpool

Discussion in 'African American History Culture' started by Destee, Sep 3, 2006.

  1. Destee

    Destee STAFF

    United States
    Jan 22, 2001
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    Published: 01 September 2006

    But civic leaders demand national recognition

    The leaders of Liverpool would do well to heed the old maxim: a city divided against itself cannot stand.

    It’s unlikely that civil war will break out there anytime soon, but there is good reason that the black population has re-named the place Liver-Alabama-pool’.

    I was in Liverpool to observe the events marking Slavery Remembrance Day on August 23, the date internationally recognised by UNESCO.

    That particular date was the start of the slave uprising in St Domingue (modern day Haiti and the Dominican Republic) and is important as it marked the start of the end of the slave trade and the birth of Haiti, the first free black nation in the Western hemisphere.

    Liverpool has had a long connection with slavery, growing prosperous on the backs of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, with a number of slave ships built in Liverpool and eventually bringing their produce up the River Mersey to the city docks.

    The trade was conducted completely in the open. The buying, selling, and disposing of human cargo were all common activities.

    In 1999 however, the city formally apologised for its role in the slave trade, but sculptures celebrating the city’s past remain.

    On the Town Hall building, the activities of the city’s founding fathers are chiselled in stone – sculptures of slaves, trading goods, and slaving ships.

    “It’s a myth that black people came in the 1950s,” he said.

    “Black people have fought in every war with Britain. Romans brought black warriors with them to Britain.”

    His tour ends with a stop at the Martin’s Bank building in the city’s financial district.

    On the entrance panels are sculptures of the sea god Neptune with his hands on the heads of two African boys. Their backs are to each other, indicating that they can’t communicate; their arms and legs shackled.

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