Event box

Lancaster Black History Group: Slavery Family Trees Conference

When: Saturday November 13th (9 am to 5.30 pm)

Where: Lancaster University Library (via Microsoft Teams)

Facing the Past and Transforming the Future: Exploring Lancaster’s links to Transatlantic Slavery

Lancaster Black History Group (LBHG) is a new grassroots community group of local residents working to fight racism through education. Over the last 10 months, members of the local community have been working alongside LBHG members (Dr Sunita Abraham, Prof Imogen Tyler, Prof Alan Rice, Jamie Reynolds and Geraldine Onek), supported by historians (Melinda Elder, Dr Mike Winstanley, and Dr Nick Radburn), and staff from Lancashire Archives and Lancaster Museums, to examine Lancaster’s historical links to transatlantic and plantation slavery. Over 30 members from the community have researched the ways in which prominent local families in 18th century Lancaster were associated with transatlantic slavery, and how this has influenced the economic growth and development of Lancaster and the surrounding areas. The Slavery Family Trees project examines their family trees and highlights the interconnections both locally and globally to other families, business and faith groups associated with direct and/or indirect links to the slave trade and plantation slavery. This conference provides an insight into some of these findings by highlighting how schools, university students, voluntary organisations, community and faith groups from across the city have come together to produce and record community stories and learning that will allow local people to work together to face the past, and in doing so transform the future. This project has been funded by a small grant from the Necessity platform.

Alongside talks from community researchers, the day will be introduced by Professor Alan Rice, with talks from invited speakers:

• Prof Catherine Hall who led on the Legacies of British Slave Ownership project at UCL which inspired our Slavery Family Trees project.

• Dr Richard Benjamin who heads the inspirational International Slavery Museum team at National Museums Liverpool.

There will also be the launch of: 

  1. The Lancaster Slavery Family Trees Banner: made in collaboration with Sewing Cafe, Lancaster (led by Victoria Frausin and Carol Gittins). The banner will hang in the library for the remaining part of this year.
  2. A new revised Lancaster Slave Trail Map: with inputs from our community research, made in collaboration with Lancaster Museums (led by Alan Rice, Carolyn Dalton and Ivan Frontani). 
  3. A Glocal Collection: a new library collection housed and funded by Lancaster University that seeks to provide local people, schools, and community groups with the opportunity to loan books and other materials about Lancaster’s historical role as the fourth largest transatlantic slave-trading port in the 18th century, its ties to the larger ‘slavery business’ through trade in plantation commodities such as sugar, mahogany and cotton, and the role of prominent local families in Imperial trade and plunder (led by Prof Imogen Tyler, Dr Sunita Abraham, Caroline Gibson, Paul Newnham, Joshua Sendall).

For further details take a look at the conference outline and programme.

Saturday, November 13, 2021
09:00 - 17:30
Events - Library Channel, Events - Staff Channel, Events - Student Channel, Location > Digital Scholarship Lab, Location > Exhibition space, Location > Open Research Lab
Registration is now closed. See the events page for details of future sessions.