On the night of the 22 to 23 August 1791, men and women torn from Africa and sold into slavery in Santo Domingue (now known as Haiti and the Dominican Republic), rose up against the slave system and won their freedom. The revolution was led by former enslaved African and General, Toussaint L’Ouverture, and saw Haiti become the first independent sovereign nation state of Latin America and the Caribbean, the second republic in the Americas, the only nation state in the western hemisphere to have defeated three European superpowers (Britain, France and Spain), and the only nation state in the world established as a result of a successful slave revolt.
21 years ago UNESCO designated the 23 August as the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, to remember this history and its victims.
This day has seen little recognition in the U.K. with many not even aware that the day exists. In 2016 Slavery Remembrance was established to change this by holding an annual national memorial in London’s Trafalgar Square to help promote this day and remember and honour the victims of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The memorial is held on the Saturday before August 23.
The Sankofa Day memorial provides a space for all who wish to remember and honour the victims of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. It is important for everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, age or colour to come together to remember this horrendous piece of our shared history and pay respect to those who so greatly suffered during those 400 years. By doing so we hope that we can eventually begin to bring understanding and peace for all.
THE AFRICAN HOLOCAUST