The March of the Abolitionists will provide schools with an out of the classroom opportunity to engage with the Bicentenary. We are aiming to have a continuous schools relay from Hull to London and therefore welcome all schools who want to take part.
To all participating schools we are donating an educational DVD entitled 'Yokes and Chains' with suggestions for classroom use. The DVD is about slavery through the eyes of children and tells the fascinating story of the Lifeline Expedition. For more on this please visit www.yokesandchains.com and click on history and reconciliation.
Here are some ways that schools will be able to participate in the March of the Abolitionists.
- Walking with the core team
The core team on the March of the Abolitionists will consist of people from West Africa, the Americas and Europe, some of whom will have been on the previous Lifeline Expedition journeys around the North Atlantic world. It will be a positive experience for pupils to learn from people from different cultures as they walk.
- Schools visits
We may be able to visit some schools and show the Yokes and Chains Educational DVD. This is dependant upon the number of team members we may have available and the demands on our schedule.
- Discovering the landscape of slavery and abolition
As the walkers on the March of the Abolitionists journey through the nation, they will be collecting information from the general public and especially from schools in order to gain a comprehensive picture of the landscape of slavery and abolition in Britain today.
Schools may wish to use the walk as an opportunity to raise funds. We are particularly keen to encourage schools to raise funds for projects in Africa and the Caribbean which were so adversely affected by the slave trade.
Our partners Anti-Slavery International can help you with fundraising and or download the Sponsored Walking forms. You can also give to Anti-Slavery via JustGiving or call
0800 028 6183
for more information.
The Lifeline Expedition (whose registered charity is Fountain Gate Trust no 298768) is also raising funds to enable Africans to participate in future expeditions and to make donations to projects in West Africa and the Caribbean. We would also recommend the Haiti Project as highly appropriate .
A great resource tool for schools about the Abolition of Slave Trade is the Ending Slavery: Unfinished Business booklet by CMS. It's available to download from their website in PDF format.
The Landscape of Slavery & Abolition
Already as we plan the March of the Abolitionists, we are beginning to pick up some very interesting stories.
Here are two typical examples...
- A person called Cedric Barber from Stoke-on-Trent contacted me to tell me that he is descended from Francis Barber who was born a slave in Jamaica and later became Samuel Johnson's servant. He married an English woman and one of their sons, Francis Barber was a founder of Primitive Methodism, which also has its bicentenary in 2007. See http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SLAbarber.htm Cedric Barber is planning to be with us to share his story when we pass through Stoke.
- A canal near Bristol was built from money paid out to Charles Pinney in compensation for the loss of his slaves when slavery was abolished in 1834.
We are hoping that these kinds of stories can be included on an interactive map. We have been in discussion with BBC about collecting stories like this in 2007. They would be happy to receive contributions for possible inclusion on the slavery section of their website at www.bbc.co.uk/slavery
Obviously there are a number of well known stories such as Plymouth 's association with England 's first slave trader Sir John Hawkins, but by inviting the general public and especially schools to join in the project we hope that perhaps less well known personalities, both slave owners and abolitionists (especially women and those of African descent) will have their stories told. It will also become evident that many places apart from the ports profited from the slave trade (for example Birmingham with its gun trade.)
Another provocative addition will be to map evidence of slavery and exploitation in Britain today so for example when you click on Morecambe Bay the tragic story of the drowning of the Chinese cockle pickers could come up. We would suggest that schools who want to get involved in unearthing stories for the website should be discovering answers to these sort of questions.
- Are there any houses or other features of the local landscape (ie canals) that may have been built partly from the profits of the slave trade?
- Were any products from this area used as trade items to exchange for slaves in Africa ?
- Do you know of any local people who were involved in slave trading or owned slave plantations in the Caribbean ?
- What abolitionists came from your area? Are there any less well-known ones who should receive due credit in 2007?
- Are there any local people involved in trying to put an end to various forms of modern slavery?
- Do any forms of slavery or exploitation of foreign labourers take place in your locality