Notes to support teachers teaching the Transatlantic Slave Trade & Abolition
Twelve Points for Teacher Guidance
- 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.
- Teach a broad narrative ensuring that the abolition story is told in its fullest context incorporating moral, social and economic factors (see Eric Williams).
- Place the topic in a context of human rights.
- Ensure that your teaching of the topic is aspirational and empowering.
- Highlight the complex nature of African civilisations before and during the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
- 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.
- 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.
- Include stories of African resistance Toussaint L'Ouverture, Nanny Maroon, Leonard Parkinson (see CLR James).
- Give pupils an insight into the complex cruelty of the Trade and plantation life.
- Ensure pupils understand the concept of enslavement and what was distinctive about African enslavement.
- 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)
- 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