Afua Hirsch: ‘Don’t sell off history with slave links – use it to educate’

Image caption

Afua Hirsch at Elmina Castle in Ghana

A presenter of a new documentary about slavery has rejected the idea of marketing art and artefacts with inbound links to the trade, to compensate descendants.

“I never assume the sensible way to accomplish reparation is to sell off national heritage,” Afua Hirsch said.

“I want people to see it and interact with it. The additional accessible it can be, the additional it can be used to teach.”

The author and broadcaster is fronting Enslaved with actor Samuel L Jackson. The sequence starts off on BBC Two on Sunday.

Image caption

Samuel L Jackson and Afua Hirsch the two discovered their roots on the show

Hirsch, who writes a column for the Guardian and penned the reserve Brit(ish): On Race, Id and Belonging, told The Radio Instances: “I am not about destroying background at all. I want people to see it and interact with it.

“But I do sense fairly essential that right up until now these things have been held in a way that neither educates nor enlightens us about our colonial background.”

  • The Nationwide Rely on residences where colonial inbound links are ‘umbilical’
  • How United kingdom museums are responding to Black Lives Issue

She was responding to a dilemma about the Nationwide Rely on, which has determined 93 homes with connections to colonialism and historic slavery. Hirsch said she applauded the organisation, but that their collections should really be used to notify a additional comprehensive version of background.

She included on Twitterthat the interview “remaining out the portion where I said the volume owed in reparations MONUMENTALLY exceeds the volume that could be elevated by marketing off Nationwide Rely on collections”.

Hirsch, who was born in Norway but grew up in the United kingdom, included that the discussion about the legacy of slavery was “not about beating ourselves up, it is about knowledge how we received in this article”.

Enslaved used new diving engineering to identify and study sunken slave ships in the United kingdom, the Caribbean and Florida, retrieving artefacts these kinds of as a massive ivory tusk forty five miles off the coast of Devon. The four-portion CBC/Epix sequence has by now been broadcast in the US.

The transatlantic slave trade noticed European nations such as the United kingdom traffic all over 12 million people from West Africa to the Americas among the 16th and 19th Generations.

Hirsch also filmed with Jackson in Elmina, Ghana, a single of the big slave trading posts in what was then recognised as the African Gold Coastline.

She included that background taught in British colleges should really admit the country’s part in the slave trade instead than just celebrate its abolition.


Observe us on Facebook or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a tale recommendation e mail