Sunday, 27 July 2014

GLASGOW~ Host to a Celebration of Emancipation Day





Ever wish you were somewhere else? This coming week I wish I was in Glasgow- yes for the Commonwealth Games but also for this fantastic opportunity to discover a great deal of history relating to slavery and Emancipation day. Education is a great thing provided we accept history as history and put our efforts into working together to create understanding and unity rather than division and resentment. This programme is funded and provides opportunities for everyone to take part in workshops and celebrate together.

Drumming workshops

I find myself more and more involved with covering social justice projects (write Journey To Justice in search!) and it is great to come across this event which highlights one of the greatest victories society has ever known. Yes, there is still too much fear and racial hatred in society but this is an excellent way of providing people with a mix of education, fun and a chance to try out some new skills. 

Looking through photo's for this article brought tears to my eyes and I have avoided the most harrowing images.

Slaves- Glasgow shipping yards

Now let's move on to the details combined with a little history:

The Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme is a national celebration. Culture 2014 will showcase dance, theatre, music, visual arts, comedy and much more in the run up to and after the Commonwealth Games, with Festival 2014 transforming the Host City at Games time.  The Cultural Programme is a partnership between the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee, Glasgow Life, and Creative Scotland through National Lottery funding.

Project lead: Glasgow Life in association with African Caribbean Cultures Glasgow
Join us for the inaugural Scottish celebration of Emancipation Day, celebrated annually across the Caribbean on August 1st. Make your way around locations in Glasgow’s Merchant City as we bring to life the story of the city’s role in Caribbean slavery using drama, dance and music.

'How did plantation slaves keep their spirits up when life was so bleak and harsh? They sang. And eventually singing became not just a way of keeping going emotionally but a way of passing on coded messages.' Speaking about Negro Spirituals


Find out why the Gallery of Modern Art would not exist but for the slave trade. Tread the path taken by wealthy Glasgow merchants on their return from the slave plantations. Hear about the abolitionist movement and the Glaswegians who supported emancipation.
Directed by Alan McKendrick, inspired by an original idea from   African Caribbean Cultures Glasgow and historian Stephen Mullen’s book It Wisnae Us.


'It Wisane Us ,written by former CRER Researcher Stephen Mullen, focuses on the buildings and streets of the Merchant City and highlights Glasgow's tangible links with slavery. For instance there are a range of streets in the city centre which pay tribute to the plantation colonies and the merchants who gained vast fortunes in trading with them, these streets include Buchanan Street, Virginia Street and Jamaica Street. In addition to this, the palladian magnificence of townhouses such as the Cunningham Mansion, now the Gallery of Modern Art, built by one of the wealthiest 'tobacco lords' demonstrate better than any historical work the huge profits Glasgow made through the colonial trade.'

If you are unable to attend but would like to find out more about the slave trade in Scotland here is a valuable site link National Library of Scotland

‘The role played by Scots in the slave trade and in its abolition has only recently been recognised. We hold both printed and manuscript resources recording Scotland’s links with slavery.

Wed 30 July, Thurs 31 July, Fri 1 August
TICKETS ARE FREE BUT MUST BE BOOKED IN ADVANCE 
 by calling 0141 353 8000, ONLINE HERE  or in person at the City Halls Box Office.

Graham Campbell - Joint Coordinator
African Caribbean Cultures Glasgow LLP
(Partnership No SO304789)
Aspire Centre
135 Wellington Street
Glasgow G2 2XD
  
Tel: 07855 303604 

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