Slavery Remembrance Day

crowds walking behind a banner with the text 'we remember'

Walk of Remembrance on Slavery Remembrance Day 2012, led by Martin Luther King III

The annual Slavery Remembrance Day is held on 23 August. This is a significant date as it commemorates an uprising of enslaved Africans on the island of Saint Domingue (modern Haiti) in 1791. The date has been designated by UNESCO as Slavery Remembrance Day, a reminder that enslaved Africans were the main agents of their own liberation.

Ndaba mandela-talk-slavery-remembrance-day

2015 event highlights

See the Slavery Remembrance Day 2015 events page for full details of this year's events. Highlights include:

  • Friday 21 August, 6pm: Dorothy Kuya Slavery Remembrance Lecture by Ndaba Mandela at the Dr Martin Luther King Jnr building, Albert Dock. Tickets are free but booking is essential for this event. You can book your free ticket via Eventbrite.
  • Saturday 22 August: A day of family events
  • Sunday 23 August: Walk of Remembrance through Liverpool city centre, followed by a libation ceremony at the Albert Dock and a performance by Poets Against Apartheid.

Other events in Liverpool

Ndaba Mandela, grandson of the beloved and iconic Nelson Mandela, will deliver the Dorothy Kuya Slavery Remembrance Lecture in Liverpool this year. 

Ndaba will also take part in a series of events in the city including a special literary event Poets Against Apartheid - The Legacy of Gil Scott-Heron and Liverpool International Music Festival’s commissioned event The Revolution Will Be Live at St George’s Hall.

He will also visit the Directors of the Nelson Mandela Memorial Campaign Group, who are working with the city to develop a permanent memorial to the late Nelson Mandela, as well as the Tiber Young Peoples Steering Group at The Greenhouse Multi-Cultural Play and Arts Project in Toxteth.

Previous Slavery Remembrance Days

See highlights from previous years in our picture gallery.

Liverpool Slavery Remembrance Initiative 

"Branded like beasts who feel no pain
And all for Merrye Englande's gain

But England's Changing-Rearranging
Only we can clear our Name

Growing! Knowing! Trade Winds are blowing!
Things'll nevva be the same."

Excerpt from 'Slavepool' by Mohammed Khalil - a poem recounting Liverpool's role in the slave trade.

Liverpool Slavery Remembrance Initiative is a partnership between National Museums Liverpool, individuals from the Liverpool Black community and Liverpool City Council. Through Slavery Remembrance Day we seek to:

  • Commemorate the lives and deaths of the millions of enslaved Africans and their descendants who were central to the rise of Britain as an industrial power.
  • Remember that we live with the legacies of transatlantic slavery such as racism and discrimination and ongoing inequalities, injustices and exploitation.
  • Celebrate the resistance, rebellion and revolution that ended slavery, as well as the rise of popular movements for racial justice and social change that said both then and now "never again".

Resistance to injustices and discrimination is a central theme of the International Slavery Museum and that is why we fully support the continued observance of this important event.