By KLTV Newsdesk –
Several services across West Yorkshire have collaborated on a new virtual tour that shines a light on five abolitionists who campaigned across Kirklees to end the slave trade.
The movement to end the transatlantic slave trade is well documented, however, what local residents may not know is that during the nineteenth century black abolitionists also campaigned in what is now known as Kirklees.
The tour, titled the ‘Power of Protest: black abolitionists in nineteenth-century Kirklees’, will stream live on 20 May at 1 pm.
It aims to reveal the activism of inspiring black self-liberators including Frederick Douglass, James Watkins and Sarah Parker Remond, and how they addressed Kirklees audiences.
West Yorkshire Archive Service; Kirklees Libraries and Kirklees Council’s BAME Network and Community Cohesion Team produced the tour with the University of Edinburgh.
‘Understanding the past’
Richard Parry, Strategic Director for Adults and Health at Kirklees Council said: “Through this collaboration, [Kirklees Libraries] is giving residents an opportunity to learn how local the struggle to end the slave trade became when abolitionists arrived in our area in the nineteenth century.
“By understanding the challenges of our communities in the past, we can help to build stronger and more cohesive communities in the future.”
‘Warriors of Social Justice’
Dr Hannah-Rose Murray, Early Career Leverhulme Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, said: “I am delighted to work with Kirklees Libraries and partners to create this virtual tour that highlights the radical role these warriors of social justice played in the black freedom struggle on both sides of the Atlantic.
“Hopefully, Kirklees residents will gain a greater understanding of their local community and be able to place these important lecturing tours in parallel with other reform movements in Kirklees and across Britain as a whole, from the nineteenth century to today.”
Alongside the tour, a special e-book collection of non-fiction, fiction and poetry, including Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Fredrick Douglass, The Poetry of Phyllis Wheatley by Phyllis Wheatley, Washington Black by Esi Edugyan, will be available from Kirklees Libraries.
A series of promo clips will be released on social media in the run-up to the virtual tour on 20 May as part of this year’s Local and Community History Month.