Liverpool exhibition reveals horrors of slavery

Date Posted: 17/03/2014

A dramatic new exhibition at Liverpool’s International Slavery Museum will explore finds from a burial ground of Africans liberated from slavery.

Liberty bound: Slavery and St Helena opens on 4th April and looks at recently re-discovered graveyards containing the remains of 'liberated' Africans in Rupert's Valley, St Helena, in the south Atlantic.

Items to go on show at the museum include coins, jewellery, buttons, iron tags and fragments of clothing; and school groups will be able to learn all about the men, women and children that owned these items.

About the exhibition

The graveyards were the final resting grounds for liberated Africans freed from illegal slave-running vessels, or 'slavers', by the Royal Navy's West Africa Squadron in the middle decades of the 19th century.

Many enslaved Africans did not survive the trauma of their transportation and died in British receiving depots on St Helena at Rupert's Valley. Excavations only uncovered a very small proportion of the estimated 8,000 burials of liberated Africans on St Helena.

Dr Richard Benjamin, head of the International Slavery Museum, said: “This new exhibition will reveal a hitherto unknown but important aspect of the human horror of transatlantic slavery.”

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Photo credit Andrew Pearson and Ben Jeffs.

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