Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mayor commemorates slavery at City Hall

From the Jamaica Observer:

This year has been the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery. There have been a number of government events commemorating it. But last week I went to the best day of remembrance for the slave trade that I have been to all year. It was staged by the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, in City Hall.

New York was another city that profited handsomely from slavery. New York state was functionally neutral in the Civil War, and draft riots broke out at the time because of anti-black sentiment. Yet New York's mayor decided to commemorate the resistance to slavery in Brooklyn by destroying the Abolitionist homes on Duffield Street and turning them into a parking lot with a small park on top.

Other cities have found other ways to honor the UNESCO International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition on August 23. Liverpool just opened an International Slavery Museum.

You can also visit Abolition200, which is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the end of legal slave trade in the UK. On March 2, 1807, Thomas Jefferson signed a bill abolishing such trade in the United States.