emancipation of African slaves in the Caribbean
For a limited time period only the Black Cultural Archives centre in Brixton is hosting the ‘Making Freedom’ exhibition, which narrates and celebrates the role that Africans in the Caribbean played in hastening the end of slavery in that part of the world.
The exhibition is significant in this respect, since it casts African Caribbeans as independent-minded people who fought to be the deciders of their own fate, whereas many historical narratives would have us believe that their emancipation is something that they played no part in - simply handed to them by white colonists.
The exhibition is laid out in a way that allows viewers to easily follow the narrative from beginning to end – from enslavement to emancipation. There is not too much information so it is easy to digest the key events in the movement towards emancipation without being overloaded (this also makes the exhibition great for kids).
Arthur Torrington, curator of the exhibition, has described the purpose and significance of the exhibition in telling an important part of history that is not well-known:
“Making Freedom celebrates the 1838 Emancipation of nearly a million Africans in the Caribbean. It tells the stories of how liberty was won on the 1st August and how African women re-united the African family disbanded by enslavers in the previous 200 years.
Emancipation was the beginning of a long and laborious road towards freedom. This exhibition celebrates the acts of courage and resistance which laid the freedom many of us enjoy today.
It is the first time that collections from the National Maritime Museum, the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), the National Archives, Anti-Slavery International, and the National Portrait Gallery have been brought together to tell inspiring Emancipation stories.”
The exhibition, which has been touring since January 2014, will only be displayed at the BCA centre until this Saturday (December 20) but is available for free hire.
For more information please visit: makingfreedom.co.uk