Slavery Remembrance Day falls on 23 August. The date is chosen by UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation – to commemorate a significant uprising of enslaved African men and women on the island of Saint-Domingue (modern Haiti) in 1791. This was instrumental to the downfall of the transatlantic slave trade.
Slavery Remembrance Day pays homage to the many lives lost as a result of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, it remembers Liverpool’s role as the main European slaving port, and it also celebrates the survival and development of African and Caribbean cultures.
Liverpool has been at the forefront of Slavery Remembrance Day commemorations since they began in 1999. Since then National Museums Liverpool has marked the day, along with Liverpool City Council, with free events to commemorate, celebrate and remember this key date in history.
Slavery Remembrance Day is a vital event not only for the International Slavery Museum but for Liverpool and the country as a whole. It not only commemorates the lives and deaths of millions of Africans enslaved during the period of the transatlantic slave trade, but recognises their resilience and resistance too.
We also live with the legacies of transatlantic slavery and enslavement, such as racism and discrimination and ongoing inequalities, injustices and exploitation and that is why the International Slavery Museum is a campaigning museum - promoting social justice through its work.