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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Equiano Forum Presents “Faces of Abolition”

Colonial Williamsburg’s Equiano Forum presents “Faces of Abolition: International Efforts to End the Slave Trade” at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, 326 W. Francis St. The program introduces guests to three everyday people in America, the Caribbean and Europe who mobilized against the inhumanity of the slave trade in the late 18th century. Their efforts changed history by pressuring governments to abolish the trade at the dawn of the 19th century. Their methods and motivations were diverse, but their goal was the same – abolish the slave trade.
Colonial Williamsburg’s Equiano Forum seeks to broaden public knowledge of past and present issues concerning African American history and culture.
The hour-long program introduces a Quaker woman, Mary Pleasants of Virginia, as she frees her slaves and proclaims that the slave trade is injurious to the Christian faith. In England, young Anglican activist, Thomas Clarkson, is traveling thousands of miles throughout Europe to find testimony and witnesses to proclaim the inhumanity of the trade before the British House of Commons. Jean-Jacque Dessalines, the commander in chief to the people of Haiti, leads a revolution for liberty, fraternity and equality to end slavery and the slave trade. Guided by the ideals of liberty and freedom, he shares a bold vision of the future for the people of Haiti.
Excerpts from an award winning film, “‘The bloody Writing is for ever torn’ The Abolition of the Atlantic Slave Trade: Origins, Effects and Legacies,” provides the historical context for the program. The film was produced by the College of William & Mary’s Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture during a conference in 2007 to mark the bicentennial of governmental decisions to abolition the transatlantic slave trade.
A Colonial Williamsburg Revolutionary City ticket, annual, museum or Good Neighbor pass provides access to these programs.

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