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28 October 2014

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You are in: Gloucestershire > History > History Features > Abolition - then and now

Abolition 200 poster

Abolition - then and now

The anti-slavery fight goes on - that's the message of a Gloucester exhibition marking the 200th anniversary of the Slave Trade Abolition Act.

Visitors to Abolition 200 at Gloucester City Museum and Art Gallery can discover the roots of the slave trade and how it shaped the history of the county.

The free exhibition, which runs until Saturday April 21, explores how and why people of African-Caribbean descent settled in Gloucestershire, and celebrates the experiences of the first generation of families who came to the county from Jamaica and its neighbouring islands.

It will see the launch of Memories, an oral history project that has collected the stories of elderly Jamaicans now living in Gloucester.

The event, organised in partnership with BBC Gloucestershire, also celebrates the county's wider multicultural heritage, with stories of people who came to settle in Gloucestershire from Asia and China and special events for schools including an interactive quiz about the county's links with slavery compiled by the BBC.

Shocking

Abolition 200 organiser Nasreen Akhtar is Gloucestershire County Council's black and minority ethnic development development officer. She hopes that the anniversary of the Slave Trade Abolition Act will also remind visitors that slavery still exists.

"We should be talking about child labour and women and men suffering through people trafficking. It's bad," says Nasreen, who was shocked to witness an example of child labour on a family visit to her native Pakistan.

"We visited a family friend's home and saw a small child asleep on the floor. She told us he was six years old and a new servant, and he was sleeping a lot because he was homesick for his mother.

"Then she woke him to bring us drinks. My children were astonished to see the youngest person in the house wearing ragged, dirty clothes and serving drinks.

"I thought 'that's cruelty' but when I mentioned it much later when she visited the UK, she said they were helping the child and his family by feeding him and sending them money. It was shocking." 

Community events at Abolition 200

All events start at 11am. Free admission, families welcome.

  • Thursday 22 March  - Gloucester writer Bernard Westcarr talks about his autobiography Memoirs of a Jamaican Peasant Boy
  • Thursday 29 March  - Launch of Memories - oral history of Jamaican elders living in Gloucester
  • Thursday 5 April - Talk on abolition and 21st century slavery including excerpts from the BBC's Abolition season of programmes on slavery
  • Tuesday 10 April - Family storytelling with Kulchalee of educational arts group Akoma, which celebrates the art, music, dance and food of the Caribbean and Africa
  • Thursday 12 April - Experience multicultural music, dance and food
  • Tuesday 17 April, 11am - Family film show and tour of exhibition

last updated: 01/04/2008 at 11:44
created: 12/03/2007

You are in: Gloucestershire > History > History Features > Abolition - then and now

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