A New York perspective on the International Slavery Museum

Chase Delano, visiting us from Connecticut, close to New York, shares with us her experience of a rainy trip to the Merseyside Maritime Museum and the International Slavery Museum.

Chase Delano

Appropriately, it was raining as I made the trek down to the Merseyside Maritime Museum of Liverpool. Despite the rain, friendly strangers stopped to help point me in the direction of the museum—a kind gesture one might not find in the busy streets of New York, especially on a rainy day. I followed a wet crowd through the gates leading down Albert Dock and into the doors of the museum. The place was filled with people of all ages—from grandparents to grandchildren—and amongst the four floors of different exhibitions, each generation found something of interest to them.

Naturally, I started at the dining hall on the fourth floor. Here I sat comfortably, looking down on the square-shaped sea port across from me, where people ran looking for shelter from the rain. After some tea and finger sandwiches, I was ready to begin my tour of the museum. My first stop was the International Slavery Museum on the third floor (located within the Merseyside Maritime Museum).

On entering the museum, I was prepared to experience an exhibit solely based on the history of African slavery and transatlantic trading, but it also included the issue of contemporary slavery. Set up along the walls were stories and video interviews of people, still alive today, who have experienced the cruelty of slavery in one way or another. It’s scary to realize that slavery, an issue most would assume had ended with the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863—is still very much a real thing and is happening somewhere today, right now.