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Slavery: The Hidden History Bristol March 2007

Bristol Radical History Group presents

SLAVERY: THE HIDDEN HISTORY

March 2007 marks the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the British slave trade. While political reformers like William Wilberforce are traditionally celebrated, less is known about the mass movements which forced the hand of Parliament.

Bristol Radical History Group has planned a program of events to celebrate the real history of abolition. In a series of public lectures, films, and social events entitled 'SLAVERY: THE HIDDEN HISTORY' we will highlight the links between Bristol industry and the slave trade, the radical black abolitionists, the slaves who abolished slavery, and throughout we will question why this history has been hidden.

· Sun March 4th history walk: Black and Blue: Social History of Bristol Glass

· Tue March 6th exhibition : Opening the Archives: The Abolition Movement in Bristol

· Tue March 6th film: "La Ultima Cena"

· Wed March 7th talk: Scandal! The Slave Profiteers

· Thurs March 8th talk: Invisible Abolitionists/ Slaves Who Abolished Slavery adam hochschild & richard hart!

· Fri March 9th pub night: Bristol Abolitionist Pub Night/ SKA LECTURE

· Wed March 14th talk: Caribbean Struggles After Abolition richard hart!

· Thurs March 15th talk: Black Radical Abolitionists THIS SUNDAY!

?history walk: BLACK AND BLUE: THE SOCIAL HISTORY OF BRISTOL GLASS

SUNDAY 4 MARCH, 11am

Meet outside Shakespeare pub, Victoria St,

Join local historian and raconteur Jim McNeill on a walk that explores the history of Bristol's glasshouses and explains how they were sustained by colonial expansion and the city's involvement in the slave trade.

?exhibition: OPENING THE ARCHIVES – THE ABOLITION MOVEMENT

TUESDAY 6 MARCH, 2-3pm

Bristol Central Library – Bristol Room

Bristol Reference Library presents a selection of books, posters, and newspapers charting the abolition movement and its opponents. This will be a rare opportunity to see these primary sources and assess for yourself the abolition debate of the 19th century.

?film : LA CENA ULTIMA (THE LAST SUPPER)

TUESDAY 6 MARCH 8pm

The Cube Microplex £3/ £4

Attempting to fulfill a religious obligation, the count of a 18th Century Cuban sugar mill decides to recreate the Last Supper with twelve randomly selected slaves as Christ's disciples. Both master and slaves get drunk, and over the course of the evening the plantation owner makes several promises that will end with brutal consequences. A forgotten relic of Cuban cinema that examines the intellectual roots of Western slavery.

?lecture SCANDAL! THE SLAVE PROFITEERS

WEDNESDAY 7 MARCH, 7.30pm

Kuumba Centre, 20-23 Hepburn Road, St Paul's

However much previous generations have tried to brush it under the carpet, Bristol is a city whose slave trade past is never far from public view. After the Emancipation Act of 1833 Bristol's slave owners were compensated to the tune of £500,000 for their 'loss', a huge sum of money for the time. Jim McNeill traces how this money was invested and how it stimulated the development of the city's industrial base. Donations accepted.

?lecture: THE INVISIBLE ABOLITIONISTS AND THE SLAVES WHO ABOLISHED SLAVERY

THURSDAY 8 MARCH, 7.30pm

The Cube Microplex, Dove St. £2

William Wilberforce is still the one man whom everyone knows from the abolitionist movement, but what of the wider protest movement, or indeed the slaves themselves whose own actions did much to force the British parliament into action. Adam Hochschild, the author of Bury The Chains: The British Struggle To Abolish Slavery and Richard Hart, authority on Caribbean history and ex-Attorney General of Grenada examine the forgotten faces of the abolitionist movement and ask why they have not been remembered.

?pub nigh/ ska lecture: CELEBRATE ABOLITION AT THE SEVEN STARS

FRIDAY 9 MARCH, 6pm – till late

The Seven Stars Pub, 1 Thomas Lane, Price: TBC

At the end of the 18th century, slave ship sailors and abolitionists met in the Seven Stars pub to plot the end of the slave trade. Join us at this historic Bristol landmark for a night of music, discussion, and drinking. Local historian and publican Mark Steeds will discuss the history of the Seven Stars and its crucial importance to the abolitionist movement. Local historian, trade unionist, and DJ, Dave Chapple, will present a unique musical lecture entitled 'Slavery, Garveyism and Independence: Jamaican Popular Music, 1954-1972'. Ska music and dancing to follow.

?lecture CARIBBEAN STRUGGLES AFTER ABOLITION

WEDNESDAY 14 MARCH, 8.00pm

Kuumba Centre, 20-23 Hepburn Road, St Paul's

On paper, slavery was abolished in the British Empire in 1838. In the Caribbean, former slaves remained desperately poor, politically disenfranchised, and subject to persistent exploitation. As conditions deteriorated, rebellion grew. Richard Hart, founding member of the Jamaican nationalist movement and renowned Caribbean scholar, will discuss the economic and political struggles that occurred after the end of slavery. Drawing on his historical scholarship and reflecting on his own political activity, Dr. Hart will consider how these post abolition struggles laid the foundation for later independence movements throughout the Caribbean.

?lecture BLACK RADICAL ABOLITIONISTS

THURSDAY 15 MARCH 7.30pm

The Cube Microplex, Dove St. South, £2

Speakers: Ruth Symister & South London Radical History Group

March 2007 marks the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire. A key turning point in the abolitionist campaign was the 1789 publication of The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. This indictment of slavery, written by a former slave, had a tremendous influence on the abolitionist campaign. Similarly, actions of former slaves energized radical movements for abolition and democracy in 19th century Britain. Who were these revolutionaries and how did they change the political landscape of their time?