The Salford Slavery Memorial Day event and its purpose in honouring the history of slavery.

I was deeply honoured to be a keynote speaker at the above event, particularly as a representative of the Igbo community, which has a unique perspective to share.The Salford Memorial Day event is a significant opportunity to shed light on the crucial topic of slavery and its profound impact on Africa, particularly focusing on the Igbo people and the tragic event known as the Igbo Landing.

Historical Context:
The transatlantic slave trade was one of the darkest chapters in human history, involving the capture, transportation, and enslavement of millions of Africans. This had and still has a devastating impact on African societies, cultures, families, and economies. This exploitation was driven by economic greed and colonial ambitions.

The Igbo People:
The Igbo people have such a rich heritage, vibrant culture, intellectual achievements, and significant contributions to various fields. Chinua Achebe, one of Africa’s most celebrated authors, hails from the
Igbo community. His groundbreaking novel ‘Things Fall Apart’ not only introduced the world to Igbo culture but also challenged Western perspectives on how they viewed African societies. Chiamamanda Ngozi Adichie – Half of A Yellow Sun In the realm of economics, Igbo entrepreneurs have excelled both within their local communities and on the global stage. Their entrepreneurial skills have led to the establishment of thriving businesses and trade networks. The Igbo market system, characterised by its dynamic nature and extensive reach, serves as a testament to their economic acumen. This tradition continues to influence modern economic practices in the region.”

Furthermore, Igbo political leaders and activists have played pivotal roles in advocating for social justice and equality. From the pre-colonial era to the present day, Igbo individuals have been at the forefront of
advocating for their communities’ rights and representing their interests. The Igbos have demonstrated resilience in the face of political challenges, contributing to the broader struggle for human rights and
democratic values.

In the arts, Igbo creativity has left an indelible mark. From traditional music and dance to contemporary visual arts, Igbo people celebrate their culture and express our identity through various artistic forms. Our
contributions have enriched the world’s cultural tapestry and provided a platform for the expression of Igbo narratives and values.

We have such strong communal values and traditions that have shaped our identity over generations.

The Igbo Landing:
What reference does the Igbo Landing have to Slavery, what is the Igbo Landing? In 1803 at St. Simons Island, Georgia, a group of 75 Igbo warriors from what is now Nigeria committed mass suicide by drowning rather than begin life in America as slaves. They survived the Middle Passage only
to walk willingly into the sea wearing chains.

A group of Igbo slaves, unwilling to endure the horrors of slavery any longer, made the courageous decision to reclaim their freedom by walking into the water and drowning themselves. This should not be
seen as an act of defeat, but a powerful statement of resistance against the inhumane conditions they were subjected to.

Legacy and Remembrance:
It is important to keep the memory of the Igbo Landing alive. In remembering these events we acknowledge the pain and suffering endured by countless individuals during the transatlantic slave trade.
Such remembrance is a step towards healing, understanding, and ensuring that history’s lessons are not forgotten.

What Can You Do:
I would like to encourage you all to delve deeper into the history of slavery, especially from the perspectives of marginalised communities like the Igbo people. Read books, attend lectures and festivals and engage in discussions to broaden your understanding. There is the need for continued conversations about the ongoing effects of slavery, including systemic racism and social inequalities, which are still
prevalent today.

Historical context – Transatlantic slave trade was the worst and darkest things in human history.
The Igbo People – have a rich heritage, vibrant culture, and have contributed significant intellectual achievements to various fields.

The Igbo Landing – The Igbo Landing refers to the tragic event in which a group of enslaved Igbo individuals chose to drown themselves in Georgia’s waters as an act of defiance against the brutality of slavery and a poignant display of their yearning for freedom.
Remembrance РKeep the memory of the Igbo Landing alive. Ensuring that history’s lessons are not forgotten and therefore not repeated.
Call to Action – Expand your own knowledge in memory of those who suffered during the transatlantic slave trade.
I want to express my gratitude for the opportunity to speak and share my perspective.

Finally in ensuring that the past is never forgotten and that humanity continues to strive for a more just and equitable future it is important to exercise empathy, education and collective action.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *