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Notes to support teachers teaching the Transatlantic Slave Trade & Abolition


Twelve Points for Teacher Guidance

  1. Take care of your own professional development first - read Abolition by Richard Reddie, Wilberforce by Stephen Tomlinson, Bury the Chains by Adam Hochschild. Organise your History Department to have a ‘mini inset' before hand.
  2. Teach a broad narrative ensuring that the abolition story is told in its fullest context incorporating moral, social and economic factors (see Eric Williams).
  3. Place the topic in a context of human rights.
  4. Ensure that your teaching of the topic is aspirational and empowering.
  5. Highlight the complex nature of African civilisations before and during the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
  6. Include stories of free Africans and servants in Europe who took part in the fight for abolition eg Olaudah Equiano, Ignatius Sancho, Ottobah Cugoano, Mary Prince, Phyllis Wheatly.
  7. Provide a broad overview of the abolition movement including the legacy of the Quakers, Benezet and the Alexanders, the sugar boycott and the role played by women - Elizabeth Heyrick, Hannah More, Catherine (Buck) Clarkson.
  8. Include stories of African resistance Toussaint L'Ouverture, Nanny Maroon, Leonard Parkinson (see CLR James).
  9. Give pupils an insight into the complex cruelty of the Trade and plantation life.
  10. Ensure pupils understand the concept of enslavement and what was distinctive about African enslavement.
  11. Use local stories and connections wherever possible (the Wright brothers, Haverhill; Thomas Fowell Buxton, Norfolk & Essex; Peckard and Equiano, Cambridgeshire; Granville Sharp and Fox, London; Alexanders and Clarkson, Ipswich and Woodbridge)
  12. Create a safe environment by ensuring that every child in the class can maintain their dignity & self-esteem and be included during the teaching of the topic.

A copy of this information is available as a word document - see below

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