The project will mark on 1st August 2013 the 175th anniversary of the emancipation of nearly a million African people in the Caribbean. It is also about celebrating those who resisted enslavement, those who fought to end it, and others who worked in Britain and the Caribbean for a better social, economic, and political situation for Caribbean people. EMANCIPATION 1838 will also present information on key social, economic and cultural stories leading up to the migration of hundreds of thousands of people to the UK from June 1948 (the Windrush era).
Commencing in August 2012, community conferences, workshops, and other events will include stories of key 1820s abolitionists in the Caribbean and Britain, the British Parliamentary Debates of the 1830s, the social, economic and cultural situation in the Caribbean on and soon after Emancipation Day, the situation up to and after 1865 (including the Morant Bay massacre and the debates about conditions in Jamaica, and the Caribbean as a whole). At the time, contributors to the debates included John Bright, Charles Darwin, John Stuart Mill, Thomas Huxley, Thomas Hughes and Herbert Spencer (in support of the Caribbean Africans) and opposing them were individuals like Thomas Carlyle, Rev. Charles Kingsley, Charles Dickens, and John Ruskin.
The project will create a website, educational material and present two heritage exhibitions (temporary and touring in 2013) that tell the stories of emancipation and the legacies, using original documents, objects, graphic panels, etc. The touring exhibitions will visit libraries, and other venues.
Project information will be on-line, and in social media/networks. Project workers will consult with members of London’s communities, and seek their support for the programmes, activities, etc. We believe that an understanding and appreciation of this history and heritage will assist the development of identity among youth, and will foster better race and community relations.
The First of August
Sam King MBE, co-founder of the Windrush charity and a former Mayor of Southwark, said: “The HLF grant is an indication of the importance of remembering nearly one million Caribbean Africans who walked to freedom on the First of August 1838. It is about how we can learn about the past, the legacies and how we can all understand the present. Also, we wish to let our young people, especially African and Caribbean youth, know about the contributions that their ancestors made to the prosperity and well-being of Britain.”
Wesley Kerr, Chairman of Heritage Lottery Fund Committee for London said: “We are delighted to support this project which will bring to life the great untold story of what happened after the Africans were freed from slavery in 1838. With the 175th anniversary of that momentous milestone in our history approaching, this funding also provides the perfect springboard to explore the significance of the struggles that led to and followed Emancipation, and the opportunity for people to celebrate that
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