Greenwich’s National Maritime Museum marks International Slavery Remembrance Day with host of events

The National Maritime Museum (NMM) will be marking International Slavery Remembrance Day (ISRD) to commemorate victims of the brutal and tragic transatlantic slave trade.

Due to COVID-19, most of this year’s free events will be online to keep local communities and visitors safe.

The annual emancipation ceremony will still go ahead at the National Maritime Museum with a priority to maintain social distancing. The procession will be led by Natalie Cooper from London Lucumi Choir.

NMM head of learning Sarah Lockwood said: “We must remember the millions of people who suffered and died through transatlantic slavery. On this day we look forward, as we come together to learn from the past. We honour the bravery shown in resistance, and pay tribute to those who campaigned for abolition.

“For centuries this cruel part of Britain’s history has been untold, whilst its legacies have shaped the world we all live in today. Today is the 21st annual commemoration at the Museum, the necessity of a digital focus for the commemoration increases the ability for us to continue working to promote a better understanding of this history and its legacies.”

Between the 1400s and 1800s, 12 – 15 million men, women and children were forcibly transported from Africa to the Americas. International Slavery Remembrance Day stands as a reminder of the bravery, courage, resilience, and determination of enslaved African people who continuously fought for their freedom.

The day also raises the contemporary legacies of transatlantic slavery which are manifested in the continued racism and prejudice against Black communities.

HIGHLIGHTS: · Join a live panel discussion in collaboration with International Slavery Museum Liverpool Join a live panel discussion exploring the histories and legacies of the transatlantic slave trade in Greenwich and Liverpool, the ways in which we experience both World Heritage Sites today and the responsibility of each site in anti-racist activism. Date and time: Thursday, August 20 at 6pm  free.

Panel host: Chardine Taylor-Stone, RMG. Speakers: Dr Richard Benjamin, National Museums Liverpool: Errol Francis, Culture & New Museum School; and Dr Robert Blyth, RMG. For more details and tickets: https://www.rmg.co.uk/see-do/exhibitions-events/live-panel-discussion-international-slavery-remembrance-day ·

Take part in the Emancipation Ceremony Join us for the Emancipation Ceremony, as we process from the National Maritime Museum to the River Thames.

Participants are invited to scatter white rose petals onto the river in an act of commemoration, Sunday, August 23 at 2.30pm  free.

For more details and tickets: https://www.rmg.co.uk/see-do/exhibitions-events/emancipation-ceremony

Watch a live performance from the London Lucumi Choir Join us on Facebook for a live and uplifting choir performance  on Sunday, August 23 at 3.30pm -free.

Fancy warming up your vocal cords in advance? Please attend our virtual workshop on Friday, August 21 at 5.30pm and rehearse with members of the London Lucumi Choir For more details: https://www.rmg.co.uk/see-do/exhibitions-events/london-lucumi-choir

View the spectacular Ghost Meridian sail that will be installed on Cutty Sark’s mast. Created by the Blkbrd Collective as a response to the UK’s maritime history and the global Black Lives Matter Movement, this dramatic art installation explores themes of migration, colonialism, slavery, under-representation and injustice.

The artwork – part of a wider conversation – was commissioned by the Royal Museums Greenwich and prompted by the Covid-19 crisis and #BlackLivesMatter protests across the world. It marks the public reopening of Royal Museums Greenwich as well as a commitment to engage in new ways of presenting heritage and identity across its four sites on Friday, August 21 until October


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