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


Afua Hirsch

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Afua Hirsch at Elmina Castle in Ghana

A presenter of a brand new documentary about slavery has rejected the speculation of promoting artwork and artefacts with links to the business, to compensate descendants.

“I don’t believe the practical approach to reach reparation is to sell off nationwide heritage,” Afua Hirsch mentioned.

“I need other folks to see it and have interaction with it. The extra available it will also be, the extra it can be utilized to teach.”

The creator and broadcaster is fronting Enslaved with actor Samuel L Jackson. The collection begins on BBC Two on Sunday.

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Samuel L Jackson and Afua Hirsch each came upon their roots at the display

Hirsch, who writes a column for The Guardian and penned the e book Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging, added: “I’m now not about destroying history in any respect. I need other folks to see it and have interaction with it.

“But I do really feel reasonably important that till now this stuff were held in some way that neither educates nor enlightens us about our colonial history.”

She was once responding to a query in regards to the National Trust, which has identified 93 properties with connections to colonialism and historic slavery. Hirsch mentioned she applauded the organisation, however that their collections will have to be used to inform a extra whole model of history.

Hirsch, who was once born in Norway however grew up in the United Kingdom, added that the talk in regards to the legacy of slavery was once “now not about beating ourselves up, it’s about figuring out how we were given right here”.

Enslaved used new diving era to find and read about sunken slave ships in the United Kingdom, the Caribbean and Florida, retrieving artefacts reminiscent of a big ivory tusk 45 miles off the coast of Devon. The 4-section CBC/Epix collection has already been broadcast in america.

The transatlantic slave business noticed European nations together with the United Kingdom site visitors round 12 million other folks from West Africa to the Americas between the 16th and 19th Centuries.

Hirsch additionally filmed with Jackson in Elmina, Ghana, one of the crucial primary slave buying and selling posts in what was once then referred to as the African Gold Coast.

She added that history taught in British faculties will have to recognize the rustic’s position within the slave business somewhat than simply rejoice its abolition.

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