Black History Collection Exhibited at the United Nations

. April 12, 2011 . 0 Comments

The fourth annual commemoration of the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is being observed at United Nations Headquarters under the theme “The Transatlantic Slave Trade: The Living Legacy of 30 Million Untold Stories”. Admission to the exhibition is free.

This year’s theme resonates with the continuing and new scholarship that reinterprets the history and the legacy of the Africans who were enslaved during the transatlantic trade and their contribution to building the societies in which they lived.

Twenty authentic documents and artifacts from the Freeman Institute Black History Collection are being showcased in this important, must-see exhibit at the Visitor’s Center, United Nations in NYC (until 30 April). Some visitors have been moved to tears while reviewing the pieces being exhibited. A compelling, educational experience.

One of the items is a 50 pound slave ball found off the coast of Florida at the site of the oldest documented slave ship wreck, the Henrietta Marie. The ship sank sometime during June/July of 1700.

Another item is a genuine metal neck piece, designed to be welded permanently around the neck of a young female slave. It has metal balls and rings incorporated into the piece so that her movements could be detected at all times.

Lord Aberdeen was the British Foreign Consul in Trieste, Italy. Another exhibited piece is the 1833 document hand written by him, announcing what would happen to any British subject who was still involved in the Slave Trade. Aberdeen later became the Prime Minister of Great Britain.

Also included are two signed 1858 slave insurance policies from La Protectora, an insurance company in Cuba, providing proof that slavers routinely covered the people they enslaved with life insurance policies. Consequently, they didn’t care if they had to push slaves overboard or even if the slaves lived or died on the voyage. The slavers were paid regardless.

Many other items are exhibited, including: engravings of slave ships, a document about a Chinese slave in Cuba written in Chinese on one side and Spanish on the other, a 14-page hand written Peruvian register (1811) from San Bartolome’ Hospital (built in the late 1600s) listing the African slaves, an extremely rare plaque (Eastgate Pottery) commemorating William Wilberforce and his anti-slavery campaign, and so much more. View some images here:

The Freeman Institute Black History Collection has well over 3,000 original pieces (oldest dated 1553). The collection is to be utilized by The Freeman Institute Foundation to help establish Black History Galleries across America and in selected communities internationally — designed to educate and inspire young people of all ages.

Category: Exhibition News

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