Edinburgh Plans To Apologize For It’s Involvement In Slave Trade

Edinburgh is proposing formally apologising for its involvement in the slave trade and adding the subject into the school curriculum.

According to one expert, the council ought to apologize for the city’s historical involvement with slavery and colonialism.

Council members will review the conclusions and suggestions of the independent Edinburgh Slavery and Colonialism Legacy Review next week. The review was commissioned in the wake of the Black Lives Matter demonstration.

The city may address the problem in ten different ways, according to Sir Geoff Palmer’s assessment, including by commissioning a “major” new public artwork.

According to the document, monuments, street names, and structures connected to those who benefited from the practices should be preserved but “re-presented” in a way that provides a more thorough account of their effects.

The annual International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, recognized by UNESCO on August 23, might be observed by the entire city.

‘On behalf of the Review Group, I would like to thank The City of Edinburgh Council for its innovative decision to commission an independent review of the City’s links with Slavery and Colonialism,’ said Sir Geoff Palmer, the chair of the Independent Review Group and the first black professor in Scotland in 1989.

Slavery was abolished in most of the British colonies in 1834.

But Edinburgh had a ‘long and profitable’ relationship with slavery until then, according to Lisa Williams of the Edinburgh Caribbean Association.

In 1707, Scotland gained formal access to the transatlantic slave trade.

Between 1756 and 1778 three cases reached the court in Edinburgh where slaves attempted to obtain their freedom – one man won and was able to free himself.

Scottish politician Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville, used his influence to delay the abolition of slave trade a further 15 years.

In 1796, Scots owned nearly 30 per cent of the estates in Jamaica and by 1817, a staggering 32 per cent of the slaves.

The first mention of an African servant living in Edinburgh is of a man named Oronoce in 1740.

There are  mentions of people of African or Indian descent living in Edinburgh from the late 17th century onwards.

While former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass, lived in Edinburgh in 1846-7 while he made a speaking tour of Britain.

He planned to stay in the city but returned to America to continue fighting his cause.

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