Monday, August 17, 2009

Slavery Remembrance Day 23 August 2009

The International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition

Since 1998, UNESCO has been reminding the international community of the importance of commemorating 23 August, International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition. This date not only commemorates the historic night in 1791 when the slaves of Santo Domingo rose up to break their chains and launch the insurrection that eventually led to the Haitian revolution, it also serves to pay tribute to all those who worked collectively and individually to trigger the irreversible process of the abolition of the slave trade and slavery throughout the world. This commitment and the strategies of action used that were conducted to fight the inhumane system of slavery were to have a considerable impact on the human rights movement.

Beyond the act of commemoration, this international Day aims at eliciting reflection on a tragic past that may be distant but whose repercussions continue to fuel injustice and exclusion today. This reflection on the barbarity our society is capable of unleashing with a clear conscience is all the more necessary, salutary even, as millions of men, women and children still today suffer the horrors of new forms of slavery. This is how the remembrance of past tragedies serves to enlighten us about present-day tragedies of exploitation and dehumanization.

Message from Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO

Slavery Remembrance Day Festival in the International Slavery museum in Liverpool 21 to 23 August 2009 .

DIANE NASH HEADLINES SLAVERY REMEMBRANCE DAY FESTIVAL 21 – 23 August 2009. US Civil Rights activist Diane Nash launches a weekend of entertaining and thought-provoking events with a free memorial lecture on Friday 21 August 2009 at 1800 hrs, Liverpool Town Hall. See more information here

The bird in the picture is called Sankofa: This is a mythical bird that flies forwards while looking backwards with an egg (symbolising the future) in its mouth. Sankofa teaches us that we must go back to our roots in order to move forward.

See more mythical West-African Adinkra symbols here

See also a very interesting short documentary about Ghana's Cape Coast Castle here


  1. In honor of Slavery Remembrance Day, I saw a poignant short documentary about the slave trade in Ghana. Here is a link to the film:

  2. Thanks for the link Sabrina. Very interesting documentary. This is really a story people must see. I will put the link in the post.
    Thanks again.


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