Sankofa Day is our annual memorial in London’s Trafalgar Square to mark UNESCO’s International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition (23/08). Until our memorial, there had been no truth and reconciliation process for this heinous piece of our shared history. Sankofa Day is the first steps in the truth and reconciliation process. We believe that with knowledge comes understanding and with understanding comes empathy.
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The Transatlantic Slave Trade is one of humankind’s greatest atrocities and perhaps, in reference to scale, the most heinous crime man has committed on fellow man. It spanned over 400 years, involved over 15 – 28 million African men, women and children (possibly a lot more) and was brought about by Britain, Portugal, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and the United States.
Those enslaved were taken all over the world including America, Brasil and the Caribbean resulting in major shifts in the developmental path and ethnic makeup of all countries involved.
Slavery Remembrance was established in 2016 to commemorate this painful piece of British and world history and to remember its victims, our ancestors.
Our work, including our memorial, Sankofa Day, is the first steps on the long journey to collective healing and reconciliation from this traumatic piece of our shared history.
As a Black-led organisation, our ethos is to educate, celebrate and inspire people on the rich history and culture of Africa and her diaspora before, during and after slavery, as well as challenging long-lasting views on Africa and her diaspora as a result of slavery.
When Slavery Remembrance was founded in 2016, it was done so with the obvious purpose of shining a light on this painful piece of history, which was too often sidelined, and remembering and honouring our ancestors. But it was also done with a clear understanding that you can not tackle racism without tackling its roots and that the birthplace of the anti-Black, Afriphobic racism we see today was the Transatlantic Slave Trade/African Holocaust.
In other words if ever wanted to make real headway on ending racism we had to deal with the skeleton in the closet we had all been avoiding. We have always said that our national memorial, Sankofa Day, is the first steps on the journey of collective healing and reconciliation from this traumatic piece of our shared history. It’s now time to take the next steps, this year we are introducing our International REPAIRations Conference on Truth, Justice and Healing.