On the 23rd August 1791, the first successful slave uprising in the western hemisphere took place in Haiti. This led to the island's independence from France in 1804, and was a major step towards abolishing the transatlantic slave trade. This event is now commemorated through International Slavery Remembrance Day, which has been marked by the National Maritime Museum for over fifteen years.
On the 30th August, the museum will hold a number of free family activities such as music, workshops, talks, and tours that focus on Greenwich's connections to the slave trade.
International Slavery Remembrance Day will commence with a welcome by Master of Ceremonies, Burt Caesar, at 11.15am. Historian, S.I. Martin, will follow with an archive session investigating transatlantic slavery through rare and revealing manuscripts. In the afternoon he will give a tour of Greenwich Park, uncovering the forgotten lives of black people working for wealthy white families in the eighteenth century, including Ignatius Sancho, a slave who taught himself to read and write.
Other events include a poetry workshop, song workshop, curator talk, and various gallery tours. The day will end with a closing ceremony by the Thames, in which visitors will be invited to throw white rose petals into the river in an act of silent commemoration.