The tour can cover everyday life in West Africa, the journey of forced migration from Africa to the Americas, and life on the plantations. Or, depending on the teacher’s guidance, it could simply focus on life in West Africa and cover this in more depth. Available on Thursdays and Fridays during term time.
After an introduction to the Museum, the tour moves to the Life in West Africa displays and explores the cultural richness and sophistication of societies living there before people were enslaved. For instance it looks at the hand-woven Kente cloth from Ghana, at who would have worn it and the symbolic meaning of the colours. It explores other themes such as what life was like in a Nigerian Igbo village.
Depending on the guidance received, the tour then moves on to provide an overview of the biggest forced migration in human history and help students develop their understanding of the transatlantic slave trade and its impact on African people. It helps young people to consider a range of issues and to explore ideas other than their own.
Crucially the session is delivered by staff trained in communicating a sensitive subject to young people, and who are confident in using appropriate language and sharing their knowledge with students.
The tour highlights Black people’s continuous fight against their enslavement, slavery today, and how we can speak out on issues of concern as active global citizens. It also helps students to consider the causes and consequences of the transatlantic slave trade and Liverpool’s involvement.
Because of the sensitive subject matter of some of the displays, our specially trained staff begin by consulting the teacher about which areas of the Museum are appropriate for the class to cover.
The International Slavery Museum displays are open to the general public and other school groups during tours. The gallery spaces can become crowded and we ask that teachers and group leaders help to manage their group, respecting the needs of all visitors.