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.

Our annual celebrations include a libation on the waterfront and the Dorothy Kuya Slavery Remembrance Memorial Lecture. In 2014 the lecture was delivered by BAFTA award winning writer and director Amma Asante. The speaker for 2015 will be announced later this year.

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, Liverpool City Council and The Mersey Partnership. 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.