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|Records of neally 100,000 British colonial slaves and their owners became available from 27th April 2007. It is hoped the Black History collection on www.ancestry.co.uk will help many fill in the gaps in their family tree. The database contains the names of 99,349 slaves and their owners from registiers in Barbados between 1815 and 1834 - the year slavery was abolished in British colonies. The website will eventually include more than three million slaves in the Carribean, South Africa and Sri Lanka. Access it for free today ...|
| The Wembley Circuit Event|
| ||The Wembley Circuit celebrated the 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade with a evening concert of rememberance, reflection and response at Park Lane on Saturday 24th March 2007. This was the culmination of four Circuit events at Sudbury, Neasden and Park Lane churches over the last three weeks including an exhibition during the day of the 25th.|
The evening was a great success and highlighted through refection and song the work of the Abolitionists and Post Abolitionists that led to the Road to Freedom. The evening is outlined below with those in history we have to be thankful to ...
| ||The performers on the night from the Circuit; Reciting The Abolitionists, What Was Going On In the Indies & Americas and The Post Abolitionists |
| ||John Newton (1725-1807) |
John Newton was a man that was born in the seventeen hundreds, at the high tide of the slavery. He became a surveyor in England and at the same time became acquainted with several people who he would remain friends with until the end of his life. Among these were George Whitfield, John Wesley, and William Cowper. Newton composed many hymns, the most famous, Amazing Grace, was a prayer of deep gratitude poured from his heart to God for having saved his life and his soul.
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| ||William Cowper (1731-1800)|
William Cowper was born in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. He was famed for – amongst many other poetical works – his anti-slavery poems, one of which The Negro's Lament became almost an anthem of the abolition movement: it would be fascinating to know if Sir William's edition of Cowper included these poems.
This remarkable man was an ex-slaveship captain turned ordained Anglican minister. Newton and his wife Mary became firm and loyal friends of William Cowper and Mary Unwin.
| ||Olaudah Equiano (1745-1797)|
Equiano was an African writer whose experiences as a slave prompted him to become involved in the British abolition movement.
In his autobiography, Olaudah Equiano writes that he was born in the Eboe province, in the area that is now southern Nigeria. He describes how he was kidnapped with his sister at around the age of 11, sold by local slave traders and shipped across the Atlantic to Barbados and then Virginia.
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|Quobna Ottobah Cugoano (1757-1801)|
Quobna Ottobah Cugoano was an African abolitionist who was active in England in the latter half of the eighteenth century. Born in what is now Ghana, Cugoano was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1770. He was shipped first to the West Indies, but in 1772 he arrived in England. He was baptized as "John Stuart" the following year. Together with Olaudah Equiano and other educated Africans living in Britain, he was active in the Sons of Africa, an abolitionist group that wrote frequently to the newspapers of the day, condemning the practice of slavery.
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|John Wesley (1703-1791)|
John Wesley, the celebrated preacher and founder of the Methodist Church, was a life-long opponent of slavery. His opposition to slavery and the slave trade began long before the issue had received widespread attention, and was sustained throughout his life. Indeed, his attitudes to slavery were formed early. In 1736-7 Wesley visited the then British colony of Georgia in North America where he came into contact with slaves. Wesley maintained an interest in the abolition movement until the end: on his death-bed, he was reading the Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano, a text which Wesley discussed in his last letter - to William Wilberforce - written six days before he died, on 2 March 1791.
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| ||Ignatius Sancho (1729-1780)|
Ignatius Sancho is thought to have been born a slave on a ship crossing the Atlantic from Africa to the West Indies. His earliest memories were of Greenwich, near London, where he worked as a child slave. He composed music, appeared on the stage, and entertained many famous figures of literary and artistic London. The first African we know of to vote in a British election, he wrote a large number of letters which were collected and published in 1782, two years after his death. He was thought of in his age as "the extraordinary Negro", and to eighteenth-century British opponents of the slave trade he became a symbol of the humanity of Africans, then disputed by many.
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| ||Hannah More (1745-1833)|
Hannah More was an English religious writer and philanthropist. She published Sacred Dramas in 1782 and it rapidly ran through nineteen editions. These and the poems Bas-Bleu and Florio (1786) mark her gradual transition to more serious views of life, which were fully expressed in prose, in her Thoughts on the Importance of the Manners of the Great to General Society (1788), and An Estimate of the Religion of the Fashionable World (1790). By this point she was intimate with William Wilberforce and Zachary Macaulay, with whose evangelical views she was in sympathy. She published a poem on Slavery in 1788 and was for many years friends of leading abolitionists.
|Thomas Clarkson (1760-1846)|
Thomas Clarkson was among the foremost British campaigners against both slavery and the slave trade. His awareness of slavery originated in an essay, originally written in Latin, as an entry in a Cambridge University prize competition, which it won.With the abolition of the slave trade, public interest in the issue waned temporarily. Clarkson remained committed, not only to abolition of the trade around the world, but to the complete emancipation of the slaves in British colonies. He remained active on both fronts, including travelling to France in 1818 to press the Czar of Russia, Alexander I, to suppress the slave trade. In 1823, the Anti-Slavery Society was formed to press for emancipation.
|William Wilberforce (1759-1833)|
William Wilberforce was a British polititian, philanthropist and abolitionist, who was the leader of the parliamentary campaign against the slave trade.In 1787, compelled by his strong Christian faith, Wilberforce was introduced to Thomas Clarkson and the growing group campaigning against the slave trade by and was persuaded to become leader of the parliamentary campaign of the committee for the abolition of the slave trade.
After months of planning, on 12 May 1789 he made his first major speech on the subject of abolition in the House of Commons, in which he reasoned that the trade was morally reprehensible and an issue of natural justice. Drawing on Clarkson’s evidence, he described in detail the appalling conditions in which slaves travelled from africa in the middle passage and argued that abolishing the trade would also bring an improvement to the conditions of existing slaves in the West Indies.
| || ||Toussaint L’Overture (1743-1803) |
Toussaint L’Overture fought slavery to enjoy freedom; 200 years after his death his legacy feels as relevant as ever. He was one of the leaders of the Haitian Revolution. Along with Jean-Jacques Dessalines, another leader of the Revolution, Louverture is considered as one of the fathers of the Haitian nation. (Although generalists often misspell Toussaint's adopted surname as L'Ouverture, historians prefer to use Toussaint's spelling of Louverture, which was also the spelling adopted by his son and brother.)
|Sojourner Truth (1797-1883)|
The woman we know as Sojourner Truth was born into slavery in New York as Isabella Baumfree (after her father's owner, Baumfree). She was sold several times, and while owned by the John Dumont family in Ulster County, married Thomas, another of Dumont's slaves. In 1843, she took the name Sojourner Truth, believing this to be on the instructions of the Holy Spirit and became a traveling preacher (the meaning of her new name). In the late 1840s she connected with the abolitionist movement, becoming a popular speaker. In 1850, she also began speaking on woman suffrage. Her most famous speech, Ain't I a Woman? was given in 1851 at a women's rights convention in Ohio.
| ||Martin Luther King Jnr (1929-1968)|
King was born on 15 January 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. His father was a Baptist minister, his mother a schoolteacher. Originally named Michael, he was later renamed Martin. He entered Morehouse College in 1944 and then went to Crozer Religious Seminary to undertake postgraduate study, receiving his doctorate in 1955.
As the civil rights movement became increasingly radicalised, King found that his message of peaceful protest was not shared by many in the younger generation. King began to protest against the Vietnam war and poverty levels in the US. He was assassinated on 4 April 1968 during a visit to Memphis, Tennessee.
|Corretta Scott King (1927-2006)|
Coretta Scott was born in Heiberger, Alabama and raised on the farm of her parents Bernice McMurry Scott, and Obadiah Scott, in Perry County, Alabama. She was exposed at an early age to the injustices of life in a segregated society.In Boston she met a young theology student, Martin Luther King, Jr., and her life was changed forever. They were married on June 18, 1953, in a ceremony conducted by the groom's father, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr.
On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. Channeling her grief, Mrs. King concentrated her energies on fulfilling her husband's work by building The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change as a living memorial to her husband's life and dream
|Rosa Parks (1913-2005)|
When Rosa Parks refused to yield her seat on a Montgomery city bus to a white passenger, she was arrested for violating the city's ordinances giving white passengers preferential treatment in public conveyances. The black citizens of Montgomery organized immediately in defense of Mrs. Parks, and under Martin Luther King's leadership organized a boycott of the city's buses. The Montgomery bus boycott drew the attention of the world to the continued injustice of segregation in the United States, and led to court decisions striking down all local ordinances separating the races in public transit
|Paul Robeson (1898-1976)|
Paul LeRoy Bustill Robeson was a multi-lingual American actor, athlete, bass-baritone, concert singer, writer, civil rights activist, Springarn Medal winner, and Lenin Peace Prize laureate.
He sang and spoke out against racist conditions experienced by Asian and Black Americans; he condemned segregation in both the North and the South. In particular, Robeson spoke out against lynching and, in 1946, he founded the American Crusade Against Lynching.
| ||Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,|
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.
T'was Grace that taught...
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear...
the hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares...
we have already come.
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far...
and Grace will lead us home.
The Lord has promised good to me...
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be...
as long as life endures.
When we've been here ten thousand years...
bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise...
then when we've first begun.
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.