British Queen celebrates

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, will this evening join with community leaders and academics to commemorate the UNESCO International Day for Remembrance of the Transatlantic Slave

Trade and its Abolition with an online ceremony. 

The annual event will honour the millions who suffered as a result of the Transatlantic slave trade and the impact this has had on generations of Black communities here in London and worldwide. It will reflect on the horrors of slavery whilst celebrating those freedom fighters who fought for its abolition and paying tribute to Black activist movements in the present day. 

It will include speeches from the Mayor, Deputy Mayor for Communities and Social Justice Dr Debbie Weekes-Bernard, and Chair of the London Assembly Andrew Boff, with the keynote speech by Prof. Sir Hilary Beckles, 8th Vice-Chancellor of the University of West Indies, distinguished academic, UN committee official and global public activist. Other speakers include Yvonne Field, founder and CEO of The Ubele Initiative, who will be hosting the event,and Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director-General of Social & Human Sciences at UNESCO. The event will be opened and closed with performances by the Yemalla ceremonial drummers and Chineke! Orchestra.

It has been planned with the Windrush Foundation, Slavery Remembrance, and Wanda Nation. Black Cultural Archives has provided consultation services for this event.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “It is vitally important that we come together to remember and honour the millions of people who suffered and died as a result of the Transatlantic slave trade, and the impact this has had on generations of Black communities here in London and worldwide. This event provides an opportunity for Londoners to reflect on how the legacy of slavery has shaped the city that we live in today, from our institutions and our industries to our public spaces. It also serves as a reminder that it is our duty to stand up and speak out against prejudice, oppression and injustice wherever this may be found.”

Director of the Windrush Foundation, Arthur Torrington said: "Today we celebrate the African men and women in Haiti who on the night of 22 to 23 August 1791 started a revolution led by Toussaint L'Ouverture that ended the ‘trafficking of Africans’ to the island. The revolution was a major influence in Britain’s passing an Act in March 1807 that made the traffic illegal in British colonies. It was an era when governments legalised human trafficking and deemed it a trade. Windrush Foundation supports the Mayor of London and the Greater London Assembly as we mark UNESCO International Day for Remembering the Transatlantic Slave Trade and its Abolition.”

Deputy Mayor for Communities and Social Justice, Dr Debbie Weekes-Bernard, said:“The Transatlantic slave trade was an atrocity and is a stain on our history. Today we remember the millions who suffered and died as a result of enslavement and honour those who fought to bring about the abolition of slavery. Their stories will never be forgotten. We must remember and learn from the injustices of our past and work together to prevent them from ever happening again.” Matthias Ripp, Wikimedia commons.