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UK News: Slavery Statue Debate

 
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CherryBlossom View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jun 23 2014 at 10:42am
on the whole, the UK does try to downplay it's involvement in the slave trade imo or paint themselves as wholly anti-slavery/pro-abolition etc.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/bristol-torn-apart-over-statue-of-edward-colston-but-is-this-a-figure-of-shame-or-a-necessary-monument-to-the-history-of-slavery-9555333.html


Bristol torn apart over statue of Edward Colston: But is this a figure of shame or a necessary monument to the history of slavery?

Edward Colston is fondly remembered in Bristol. A grand bronze statue on a pedestal of Portland stone was unveiled almost 120 years ago in the city centre, dedicated to the 17th-century merchant and MP. Depicting a middle-aged Colston leaning pensively on a stick, its inscription reads: “Erected by citizens of Bristol as a memorial of one of the most virtuous and wise sons of their city.”

Not mentioned are the thousands of slave victims that Colston and his family trampled over to obtain much of their wealth. He served as deputy governor of the Royal African Company – which held a monopoly on the trade – while his brother Thomas supplied the glass beads that were used to buy slaves.

The debate over how Bristol should commemorate Colston, if at all, has reared its head again in recent days after the Bristol Post asked whether the statue should be pulled down. Just over half (56 per cent) of the 1,100 respondents said it should stay – 44 per cent wanted it to go.

It followed a passionate article arguing for its removal by the retired journalist Mike Gardner in which he calls Colston “one of the most evil men in British history”. Bristol has more than a dozen streets, three schools, other buildings and an annual church ceremony named after Colston, but Mr Gardner said the 18ft statue was the worst reminder of all. “It’s time to rename the streets, the concert hall, the office block – everything,” he argued. “It’s time to stop little girls wearing flowers to celebrate his birthday. And it’s time to pull down that statue.”

Bristol’s Mayor, George Ferguson, has described the annual Colston celebrations as “perverse”, but his city remains divided. Many residents rage against what they view as sweeping history under the carpet should the statue disappear.

One said that Colston “built a load of schools, hospitals and almshouses for the poor. I imagine the people of Bristol were grateful, regardless of how he came by the money.” But another commented: “Whatever ‘good’ deeds he has done, he did it out of the proceeds of slavery. No one would condone a statue of Adolf Hitler as ‘the great builder of superior motorways’.”

Aidan McQuade, the director of Anti-Slavery International, said the many calls for an additional plaque acknowledging Colston’s role in the slave trade to be added to his statue was “a start” and should be replicated nationwide. “The National Portrait Gallery started to do this in 2007 and it would be nice to see this line of action taken by the City of London on monuments such as Nelson’s Column rather than the wholesale pulling down of statues.”

Bristol is not alone in paying homage to those who profited from slavery. Plymouth’s Sir John Hawkins, acknowledged as England’s first slave trader, made three voyages to Sierra Leone, violently taking 1,200 inhabitants to what is now the Dominican Republic and Haiti between 1562 and 1569. Meanwhile William Beckford Snr, the only Lord Mayor of London to have a statue in the Guildhall, is known as “the uncrowned king of Jamaica” as his fortune came from more than 20,000 acres of plantations there.

Liverpool has a much more open relationship with its dark past, having built the International Slavery Museum. But dozens of its streets – including Penny Lane (James Penny) and Sir Thomas Buildings street (Sir Thomas Johnson) are named after local merchants who made their fortunes from the slave trade.

Britain’s cities are at different stages of addressing their history in the slave trade, according to Dr Nick Draper, of UCL’s Legacies of British Slave-Ownership Project. “Liverpool has now made it an official part of its civic identity. London is too large and has so much history  that this issue falls off the edge,” he said. “In Bristol the slavery issue is front and centre – and it’s still at the confrontational stage..”

And to this day there is no public monument to the  thousands of Africans slaughtered or enslaved by British traders such as Hawkins, Beckford or Colston. “The despicable pirate Hawkins is honoured, but those such as the British navy crews who fought the slave traders at sea have been forgotten,” Mr McQuade said.



Edited by CherryBlossom - Jun 23 2014 at 10:49am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CherryBlossom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 23 2014 at 10:46am
..don't know what happened with the formattingLOLEmbarrassed

lemme go back and re-bold the important parts
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote afrokock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 23 2014 at 12:11pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote callmeDEva Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 23 2014 at 12:16pm
Bulldoze it. Someone in the night should just wreck it. Just like the gynecologist dude who has a statue somewhere. He experimented on black slaves. Destroy them all
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Diane (35) Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 23 2014 at 12:21pm
If i laugh i dead!!!!!!! I never knew that about England! wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee what a joke,, my sides. Wait, what's that I hear? the entire Commonwealth Caribbean falling to the floor laughing.

 the UK does try to downplay it's involvement in the slave trade imo or paint themselves as wholly anti-slavery/pro-abolition etc

Well we've just restarted the reparations campaign, let's see how that goes

The english were excellent record keepers, i just know there are a $hit load of records they didnt destroy but fled back to England with. These have been handed down from generation to generations to remember the good old days. When they feel down they drag them out and look over them by candlelight and ponder how hey can enslave us again.

Meanwhile William Beckford Snr, the only Lord Mayor of London to have a statue in the Guildhall, is known as “the uncrowned king of Jamaica” as his fortune came from more than 20,000 acres of plantations there.

I dont know this fellow or better yet i don't remember him, i wasn't a student of history past 3rd form. but there's plenty beckford here and Beckford streets, wonder if the street was named after him quick google search>>> i see him talmbout the need for reform of the laws managing slaves, how the island is a beautiful and fruitful and the fact that his son was a bisexual and the family's wealth and plantations were lost/swinded by to another family

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