A new book documenting London’s part in the transatlantic slave trade has been published as part of a permanent exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands.
‘London Sugar & Slavery’ tells the story of how the capital was once the fourth largest slaving port in the world. Using personal accounts, documents and photographs it details the campaign to abolish slavery and the legacy of the trade.
The book documents the role of black people, like Robert Wedderburn, who helped bring about change. Wedderburn was the son of an enslaved African woman and a plantation owner. He arrived in London in 1778 and settled among the African community, as a Methodist preacher he used the pulpit to inform his congregation about the horrors of slavery.
The book also includes a section exploring more recent British history. ‘A central aim of the gallery was to relate pre-20th century history to the contemporary twenty-first century social, economic and cultural concerns – we attempt to address this in part two of the publication,’ says Colin Prescod, editor of ‘London Sugar & Slavery’.