Marcus Rediker will speak about the slave ship on Thursday, April 19 at 7 p.m. at Loosemoore Auditorium, GVSU downtown campus.
Remember the Crossings: The Struggle to Abolish the
Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and Slavery
In 1807 the English Parliament abolished the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. In the same year, the United States also passed legislation to end the trade in 1808, following up on Article 1, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution. The illegal trade of slaves across the Atlantic and a lively legal trade within the Americas, however, continued for many decades.
In 2007-2008, a significant part of the international community will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Ghana, a leading force in the commemoration efforts, has launched a campaign to attract visitors to the country to see the slave castles along its coast and to participate in numerous cultural activities. Several Caribbean governments have established national committees to host educational, religious and cultural events. Furthermore, many academic institutions throughout Africa, Latin America, the United States, and Europe will be taking part in the commemoration by organizing conferences and panels to discuss the end of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the institution of slavery. Several cities in Great Britain such as London and Bristol will erect memorials to honor the victims of the slave trade. In France, President Jacque Chirac had declared May 10 as an annual National Day of Remembrance for the victims of the slave trade.
As part of this global observance, members of the local academic and cultural communities have formed a committee to plan and implement a program of activities throughout the year of 2007 that is consistent with the importance of this anniversary. The program's goal for 2007 is to enlighten, inform and educate students and the West Michigan community about the horrors of the slave trade, its impact, and its residual effects on the lives of Africans and their descendants throughout the Diaspora. Program activities will address a wide range of issues such as the history and impact of the slave trade, slavery, racism, and modern human trafficking. The committee consists of faculty and students from Calvin College, Davenport University, Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, the Grand Rapids Community College, the Grand Rapids Public Schools, and Hope College as well as staff from the Gerald R. Ford Museum, the Grand Rapids Public Libraries, and the Grand Rapids Community Media Center. For a detailed list, please see "Program Participants" on the sidebar.