A tremendous event: a commemoration of the bicentenary of the Act abolishing Britain’s transatlantic slave trade. It was put on by the Commission for Racial Equality in Westminster Hall in Parliament – where the debate that ended this abhorrent part of history took place.
There were speeches by Uzo Iwobi, a Commissioner from the Commission for Racial Equality, Baroness Amos, Leader of the House of Lords and Trevor Phillips, Chair of the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights. The event was hosted by Floella Benjamin OBE (former presenter of Play School, but that’s only a small part of her many and varied activites). It also included actors from the Globe Theatre who enacted dramatised readings, a young poet, Louis Antwi, and two choirs.
What I liked about it was that the speeches were very hard hitting about the reality of what happened. It wasn’t about bitterness or recrimination – but about accepting the reality of what is our history and understanding the consequences – psychological, socio-economical and historical – for all of us living now in this country. It was very, very powerful.