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About Understanding Slavery

Understanding Slavery Understanding Slavery The Understanding Slavery initiative (USI) is a national learning project which supports the teaching and learning of transatlantic slavery and its legacies using museum and heritage collections. Over the past eight years six museums across the UK have worked in partnership to share expertise, develop resources, training opportunities and school sessions. One of the main tenets of the USI partnership is that the history of transatlantic slavery does not belong to any one cultural group, or nation. It is a global history whose legacy can be seen and felt in various areas of today’s societies on an international scale. The USI partners have developed resources and approaches with an understanding that by reviewing the history, and understanding its wider global impacts, teachers and learners gain a better understanding of how to read history and ways in which to make sense of the world in which they live today. Each USI partner will continue to maintain shared ethos and approaches to their work through the development and delivery of learning sessions and further resources. USI has been funded by the Department of Culture Media and Sport and the Department of Education (formerly the Department of Children Schools and Families) through the Strategic Commissioning Programme. The transatlantic slave trade was responsible for the forced migration of between 12 - 15 million people from Africa to the Western Hemisphere from the middle of the 15th century to the end of the 19th century. The trafficking of Africans by the major European countries during this period is sometimes referred to by African scholars as the Maafa ('great disaster' in Swahili). It's now considered a crime against humanity. The slave trade not only led to the violent transportation overseas of millions of Africans but also to the deaths of many millions more. Nobody knows the total number of people who died during slave raiding and wars in Africa, during transportation and imprisonment, or in horrendous conditions during the so-called Middle Passage, the voyage from Africa to the Americas. The kidnapping of Africans occurred mainly in the region that now stretches from Senegal to Angola. However, in the 19th century some enslaved Africans were also transported across the Atlantic from parts of eastern and south-eastern Africa. Read More...
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