Slavery Remembrance Day events 2007

Sankofa bird

2007 was the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in Britain. The following Slavery Remembrance Day events formed part of National Museums Liverpool's year long programme of abolition bicentenary events.

The symbol of this year's events was the Sankofa, pictured above. This is a mythical bird that flies forwards while looking backwards with an egg (symbolising the future) in its mouth. Sankofa teaches us that we must go back to our roots in order to move forward.

One of the young visitors to the 2007 events was inspired to write a Remembrance Day Rap afterwards.

  • Slavery Remembrance Day memorial lecture. This year's memorial lecture was 'The ideological origins of chattel slavery in the British world' by Dr Molefi Kete Asante, a distinguished author, most recently of 'The History of Africa', and professor in the department of African-American Studies at Temple University, USA. In the lecture he looked at the motivations and beliefs behind the transatlantic slave trade. Read a transcript of Dr Asante's lecture.
  • Opening of the International Slavery Museum. Visitors had the first chance to see this brand new museum, which opened on Thursday 23 August 2007.
  • Interfaith church service at Liverpool parish church (St Nicholas). A multi-faith act of reflection was held to remember the victims of the transatlantic slave trade and affirm commitment to human rights and social justice for all.
  • Commemorative events at Otterspool Promenade. For the second year running the libation and other key events took place at Otterspool promenade, south Liverpool, including:
    • 12 noon: Cultural food and activities in the marquee. A taste of traditional African and Caribbean food, with family activities.
    • 1pm: Libation on the waterfront. Chief Angus Chukuemeka and community leaders led this traditional African ceremony. The offering of libation involves the pouring of liquid, which can be water or wine, in a special pattern, while homage is paid to the ancestors, calling on them to bless the event.
    • 1.30-3pm: Events in the marquee. An afternoon of music and drama performances showcased Black culture and heritage.