Anniversary events
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Date: 15 March, 2007

 

 


Some call it remembrance, some celebrating, some repentance. Whichever way, the 200th anniversary of the slave trade is not about to pass unmarked as Steve Tomkins discovers.

What follows is only an iceberg-tip of the events things to look out for across the country. Keep an eye open for what’s happening in your own area.

Film

Amazing Grace.
In cinemas from 23 March
Telling the story of the abolition from Wilberforce’s point of view, this movie stars Ioan Griffith and the frankly scrummy Romola Garai.

TV

Moira Stuart in Search of Wilberforce
BBC 2 16 March
Moira Stuart travels three continents to tracks down the man behind the myth.

Songs of Praise Abolition Special
BBC 1 25 March
Includes Rowan Williams on the role of the Church in slavery.

Slave Children
BBC 2
Rageh Omar on slavery today.

Books

Abolition!
Richard Reddie’s account of the history of the movement. (Lion, £9.99)

William Wilberforce
Stephen Tomkins tells the man’s story. Highly recommended. No seriously. (Lion, £8.99)

William Wilberforce: The life of the great anti-slave trade campaigner William Hague (£25,HarperPress). OK, it’ll be good, but why wait?

A Short History of Slavery
James Walvin (Penguin, 1 March)

Radio

Trade Roots
Radio 4
Michael Buerk investigates how British cities, banks and museums have their roots in the slave trade.

Abolition night
Radio 4
The evening of 25 March is given over to the subject of abolition.

Stamps

The Royal Mail joins in.

Concerts

Freedom Concert
September, Hyde Park
No details yet.

Wilberforce Concert
29 June 2007
Holy Trinity, Clapham
The composer Stuart Barr is organising a concert based on the life of Wilberforce, at the parish church of the Clapham sect.

Exhibitions

Just some of many:

International Slavery Museum
23 August
A new museum

Uncomfortable Truths
Until 17 June
The V&A
11 artists explore the legacy of slavery.

Breaking the Chains
23 April
British Empire and Commonwealth Museum, Bristol

The Equiano Exhibition
29 September
Birmingham City Museum
Focussing on the life of the Black abolitionist.

Chasing Freedom: The Royal Navy and the Suppression of the Atlantic Slave Trade (1807 – 2007)
Royal Naval Museum, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
till January 2008.

The British Slave Trade
23 May
Westminster Hall
Material from the Parliamentary archives.

‘London and the Slave Trade’
October
Museum in Docklands
A new gallery

Wilberforce House
25 March
The museum in the house where Wilberforce was born has been closed, but reopens with an exhibition by Rachel Wilberforce.

Talks

Wilberforce Lecture: Wilberforce and his Legacy
24 April
Hull City Hall
Archbishop Rowan Williams

Abolition Series
1 March - 31 May
York University
Jim Walvin, John Sentamu, Hilary Benn etc.

Abolition Series
Throughout the year
St Paul’s Mill Hill
The church that Wilberforce built plays host to scholars, MPs and campaigners.

Walks

Walk of Witness
Saturday 24th March
From Clapham to Kennington, finishing with a service.

March of the Abolitionists
From Hull to Westminster
March 1-24. Then between London, Bristol and Liverpool June 4 - July 11.

Services

More or less all churches everywhere will be marking the anniversary of the Abolition Act on March 25.

Resources

Slavery Today
• Anti slavery International
• Black History for Schools
• Amazing Grace film study resources

• View other slavery abolition articles