International Slavery Remembrance Day at the National Maritime Museum – 23 August 2014

From 11.00 | Admission free | All ages welcomeThe National Maritime Museum marks 2014’s International Slavery Remembrance Day with a series of free family-friendly events.

From 11.00 | Admission free | All ages welcome

The National Maritime Museum marks 2014’s International Slavery Remembrance Day with a series of free family-friendly events. Taking place throughout the Museum and around Greenwich on Saturday 23 August, the programme includes music, workshops and talks, and culminates in a commemorative ceremony by the River Thames.

This year’s events explore the National Maritime Museum’s collections relating to the trade of enslaved people, as well as focusing on the many local connections to be found in the Greenwich World Heritage Site. Actor and broadcaster Burt Caesar will act as Master of Ceremonies for the day, which will also see historian S. I. Martin leading a walk around Greenwich Park while revealing the hidden impact of the transatlantic slave trade.

On 23 August 1791, the first successful slave uprising in the western hemisphere took place in Haiti. This event led to the island's independence and was a major step towards the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade. Now designated by UNESCO as International Slavery Remembrance Day, the National Maritime Museum has marked 23 August for over 15 years highlighting transatlantic slavery as a maritime history.

Event Details:

Greenwich Park Walking Tour

As seen in the highly acclaimed 2014 movie Belle, young black people were commonplace in the houses of wealthy families in 18th-century England. Join S.I. Martin for a walk around Greenwich on a trail discovering these forgotten lives.

Age: Suitable for all ages | Venue: Walk will commence at the Sammy Ofer Wing Information Desk

Malika Booker: Poetry Workshop

Using artefacts connected to enslavement from the National Maritime Museum's collections, renowned writer and performance poet Malika Booker's workshop will guide you in creating and performing an emotive poem of your own.

Age: Suitable for ages 14+. | Venue: The Baltic Exchange Memorial Glass, National Maritime Museum.

Onyeka Nubia: Africans in Tudor England

Author of the ground-breaking historical book Africans in Tudor England, their Presence, Status and Origins, Onyeka Nubia, will explore the origins of the African presence in the Tudor period with a maritime twist.

Age: Suitable for all ages | Venue: Lecture Theatre, National Maritime Museum

Gallery Tour for Young People

Take a tour focusing on the history of ‘The Atlantic: Slavery, Trade, Empire’ gallery and learn about the movement of peoples, good and ideas across and around the Atlantic Ocean from the 17th-century through to the 19th-century.

Age: Suitable for ages 14+ | Venue: ‘The Atlantic: Slavery, Trade, Empire’ gallery, National Maritime Museum

Songs of Freedom: workshop

Singing group Ethnovox lead this workshop exploring how songs were used as a powerful medium of resistance, whilst bringing about a message of solidarity, hope and freedom.

Age: Suitable for all | Venue: Under the Propeller, National Maritime Museum

Alternative Gallery Tour

Take an alternative tour of the ‘Traders’ gallery with S.I. Martin and discover the centuries long African presence in South and East Asia.

Age: Suitable for ages 12 +. | Venue: ‘Traders’ gallery, National Maritime Museum

Tracing History: Archive Session

Join historian S. I. Martin in the Museum’s Compass Lounge to investigate transatlantic slavery through rare and revealing manuscripts, and unlock hidden histories of enslaved people and their struggle for freedom.

Age: Suitable for ages 10+. | Venue: Compass Lounge, National Maritime Museum

Closing ceremony

Broadcaster and actor Burt Caesar will lead the closing ceremony of 2014’s International Slavery Remembrance Day, which will take place by the River Thames at the Water Gates at the Old Royal Naval College. Participants are invited to throw white rose petals into the river in an act of silent commemoration.

Age: Suitable for ages 14+. | Venue: Walk to the Riverside will start at the National Maritime Museum

General Information

The National Maritime Museum, Royal Observatory Greenwich, Queen’s House and Cutty Sark operate under the banner of Royal Museums Greenwich.

The National Maritime Museum, Royal Observatory Greenwich, Queen’s House and Cutty Sark are open daily, 10.00–17.00 (last admission 16.30). Opening times may be subject to change, please see website for details

General admission to National Maritime Museum and Queen’s House is free. All events included here are free of charge to all visitors unless stated.

Admission prices for the Royal Observatory Greenwich, Peter Harrison Planetarium and Cutty Sark, as well as Museum special exhibitions can be found online at

The Museum is located a short walk from the Cutty Sark DLR, and Maze Hill and Greenwich train stations. The closest tube stations are North Greenwich (to change to local buses) and Canary Wharf (to change to DLR), both on the Jubilee line.

For further information on the life of Ignatius Sancho, please visit

For updated information prior to visit please visit our web site: or phone 020 8858 4422.


For further information or images please contact:

Royal Museums Greenwich Press Office

Tel:     020 8312 6667/6545 | 07960 509 802