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Black Abolitionist Lecturers in Norfolk

Culture & Arts
Nov 15, 2021 10:00 - Dec 04, 2021 04:30
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This exhibition sheds new light on the Black Abolitionist lecturers who toured Norfolk during the 19th century and played a key role in raising awareness of the horrors of slavery. Black Abolitionist Lecturers centres Black voices and Black lived experience of slavery, and illuminates the incredible stories of Moses Roper, Henry ‘Box’ Brown who posted himself to freedom, Ellen Craft who escaped in disguise and Samuel Ringgold Ward, president of the American League of Colored Labourers, the first Black American labour union, among many others.

Description
Pricing
Description

This autumn visitors to museums and libraries across Norfolk can learn about the fascinating history of the African American Abolitionist lecturers who toured Norfolk during the 19th century and played a key role in raising awareness of the horrors of slavery.

A new touring exhibition, developed by Ancient House Museum and supported with funding from the US Embassy and the British Association for American Studies Small Grants Programme, presents their stories through new research and is curated by a team from Norfolk Museums working with Dr Hannah-Rose Murray from University of Edinburgh.

The exhibition builds on previous research into the anti-slavery movement in Norfolk undertaken in 2007. However, while this research focused on white abolitionists’ roles, the new exhibition will centre Black voices and Black lived experience of slavery.

Audiences learn about the formerly enslaved African Americans who made radical and politicized journeys to Norfolk to educate local audiences about slavery, racism, and lynching.

Discover the stories of Moses Roper, Henry ‘Box’ Brown who posted himself to freedom, Ellen Craft who escaped in disguise and Samuel Ringgold Ward, president of the American League of Colored Labourers, the first Black American labour union, among many others.

This exhibition places the role of black activists in campaigning for their own liberation at its heart. This goes some way to redress the balance of the common narrative that tends to place too much emphasis on ‘white saviour’ narratives.

The exhibition also incorporates a contemporary response to Moses Roper’s story by Norfolk-based Black artist, Cheryl Roach. Commissioned by the project, Cheryl’s powerful work features in one of the graphic panels.

Speaking about the project Melissa Hawker, Learning Officer for Ancient House Museum, says: “Using a basis of academic research, I am excited to reveal overlooked items in our collection such as the newly rediscovered poster advertising a lecture by William Craft in the Lynn Collection. It was only in researching this project that the significance of this item was understood. This project will enable us to shine new light on these artefacts for use by researchers, historians, students and visitors.”

Margaret Dewsbury, Norfolk County Council Cabinet Member for Communities says: “This is an important new exhibition which will help change our perception of the Abolition movement in Norfolk, rightly foregrounding the role Black people played in campaigning for an end to slavery. It is important that our museums tell diverse stories about the past, and we look forward to sharing this new research with more people through this touring exhibition.”

The Black Abolitionist Lecturers exhibition is visiting venues including Lynn Museum, Norwich Millennium Library, Museum of Norwich, Strangers’ Hall and Time and Tide Museum. A number of events relating to the exhibition will be taking place throughout the autumn.

Pricing

Exhibition free with general admission:
Adult: £5.90
Concession*: £5.60
Child (4-18 yrs): £5.50 (Family Price for ArtTickets)
Family 1 Adult + 1 child £10.26 Adult in a family: £5.31
Family 1 Adult + 2 children £15.21 Child in a family: £4.95
Family 2 Adults + 2 children: £20.52
Twilight Ticket (1 hour before closing): £1.50

Strangers Hall Museum
Charing Cross
Norwich
Norfolk
NR2 4AL
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