Remembering the imperial context of emancipation commemoration in the former British slave-port cities of Bristol and Liverpool, 1933–1934

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Abstract

This article considers the marking of the centenary of British emancipation in 1933 and 1934 in two former slave-trading provincial port cities, Bristol and Liverpool. Nationally, this centenary was used by the Anti-Slavery and Aborigines Protection Society to celebrate white abolition heroes and promote contemporary campaigns against ‘modern-day slavery’. However, in Bristol and Liverpool this picture was complicated by both cities’ particular historic involvements in transatlantic slavery and contemporary imperial and demographic contexts. Looking at ‘local’ dimensions to this ‘national’ commemorative occasion brings to the fore variations which emphasise the influence of civic identities, racial contestations and the distinctly imperial context of this memorial discourse seen through these interwar ports of empire.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-189
Number of pages21
JournalSlavery and Abolition
Volume39
Issue number1
Early online date15 Sep 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Black Humanities

Keywords

  • commemoration
  • slavery
  • emancipation
  • memory
  • slavery and memory
  • Bristol
  • Liverpool

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