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Bristol tribute to abolitionist Frederick Douglass

PICTURED: Abolitionist Frederick Douglass (Image: National Park Service)

STARS OF film, theatre, politics and religion are coming together to celebrate abolitionist Frederick Douglass’ 200th birthday.

Douglass was born into slavery in 1818, 11 years after the slave trade was outlawed in the UK but almost 50 years before slavery itself was abolished in the US.

After escaping from slavery and gaining his freedom aged 20, Douglass – who learned to read secretly when he was a slave – became a passionate advocate for the antislavery movement.

He toured Europe to campaign for the end of slavery and fundraise for his work – travels that brought him to Bristol.

Now to remember and recognise his work to end slavery, a selection of figures from the world of art, politics and faith are joining together to remember him.

Chaplain to the Queen, The Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, who delivered a prayer at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding at St George’s chapel, Windsor Castle last Saturday, will be one of the contributors to the celebratory event held at various locations in Bristol.

Hudson-Wilkin said: “The wealth of Bristol and many other cities in Britain came about through its past direct links with the slave trade. Today Bristol is still a segregated society with the majority of the descendants of those who were enslaved still living in poverty. The upcoming events on Monday the 28th of May, gives the community a great opportunity to begin to explore together, the possibility of creating a different kind of Bristol; a Bristol that is vibrant and diverse and celebrates the gifts of all in the community.

“Britain is my home, and the home of my children and grandchildren. A diverse Britain where all are included will be a better Britain. This event is best placed to help us reflect on where we presently are, and the kind of future we should all be advocating and working for. It is for this reason that I am taking part in this very important production.”

Kwame Kwei-Armah, the artistic director of the Young Vic; Bristol City poet Vanessa Kissule; actor 
Danny Sapani, who has starred in Misfits, The Crown and Black Panther, mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees and singer-songwriter Carleen Anderson will also perform in the spirit of Douglass.

The event will take place on Monday May 28, 8.15am to 2pm at various locations across Bristol.

For more information on the event click here

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