Remembering Edward Colston: Histories of Slavery, Memory, and Black Globality

Saima Nasar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

On 7 June 2020, footage of Edward Colston’s statue being taken
down in Bristol, UK, made international headlines. The statue of
the seventeenth century slave trader was first toppled by antiracist and social justice protestors. It was then rolled down to the
city’s harbour where ships carrying enslaved people once moored
and from there it was, almost poetically, thrown into the water
just south of Pero’s Bridge, which is named after the formerly
enslaved Bristol resident Pero Jones. This short piece reflects on
what the memory of Edward Colston can tell us about histories of
slavery, racial inequality, and Black political activism. While some
commentators have suggested that the removal of Colston’s
statue serves to erase history, this Viewpoint contends that it
offers a significant opportunity for Bristol, and Britain more
broadly, to meaningfully confront and understand its own history.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalWomen's History Review
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 18 Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Edward Colston
  • memory
  • slavery
  • activism
  • black globality

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