Black History Month at St Andrews Church, Soham

Date: 1st October 2021

Recognised by St Andrews Church, Soham

October is Black History Month, when our focus will be the shocking reality of the British Slave Trade.

Cambridgeshire Library Service are providing an exhibition which will be on display in St Andrew’s Church from Saturday 9 October to Sunday 17 October, and Collisions Theatre Company will be with us all week giving theatrical performances to pupils from our local schools.

There will also be a performance on Saturday 16 October at 2.30pm, open to anyone aged 10 and over. This will be an immersive performance written and directed by Dr Holly Maples, educator and scholar at Brunel University, designed to raise awareness of the 18th Century Slave Trade in Britain. The production celebrates many of the Black British abolitionists who helped bring about the end of the slave trade through their heroic testimony. Interweaving personal narrative, song and a re-enactment of an abolitionist meeting, this show hopes to bring history to life to celebrate historic figures such as Mary Prince, Dido Elizabeth Belle, Olaudah Equiano and others. Equiano, of course, married Susannah Cullen in St Andrew’s Church on 7 April 1792, so this is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about him and what he stood for.

On Friday 15 October at 7.30pm, there’ll be a talk by Dr Inge Dornan, historian and Senior Lecturer at Brunel University and a specialist in the history of slavery and the slave trade in North America and the Caribbean. Inge’s talk will last 45 minutes and is entitled Breaking the Silence: The British Slave Trade in Past History and Present Memory. In it she will explore the history of the British slave trade from the perspective of those whose lives were differently shaped and affected by slavery, including British slavers, abolitionists and enslaved men, women and children in the British Caribbean. She will also reflect on how and why the history of Britain's involvement in slavery and the slave trade remains a source of ongoing controversy and debate in Britain today. There’ll be 15 minutes’ discussion time afterwards for anyone wanting to stay on to think through these important issues.

Do come along!

Eleanor Whalley, Vicar of Soham

Category: General Interest


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