JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The exhibition titled: ‘Making Freedom: Riots, Rebellions and Revolutions’, will run at the Royal Geographical Society.
  • High Commissioner Ndombet-Assamba said the exhibition reminds us that the journey to emancipation was long and difficult.
  • Visitors will learn about the unrests - such as Jamaica’s 1931 Christmas Rebellion - that ultimately led to emancipation.

Jamaica’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK), Her Excellency, Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, opened an exhibition in London on Tuesday, November 5, marking the 175th anniversary of the 1838 Emancipation of African slaves in the British West Indies.

The exhibition titled: ‘Making Freedom: Riots, Rebellions and Revolutions’, will run at the Royal Geographical Society before touring the UK.

It is the initiative of the Windrush Foundation and presents the stories of the men and women, including Jamaica’s National Hero, Samuel Sharpe, whose struggles for freedom across the British colonies helped to bring about the emancipation of millions of slaves.

High Commissioner Ndombet-Assamba said the exhibition reminds us that the journey to emancipation was long and difficult.

“During this, the 175th anniversary of Emancipation in the Caribbean,  it (exhibition)  also reminds us that …emancipation was not the end as there were many more struggles to overcome such as discrimination, prejudice, and to gain basic human rights,” she said.

High Commissioner Ndombet-Assamba commended the Windrush Foundation for not confining the display to Black History Month in October, and also for taking it across the UK.

“I am also very pleased that this exhibition … will run throughout the year and will tour the United Kingdom with a special focus on educating teachers about this important aspect of not just Caribbean but also British history. As a Jamaican, all of this is very familiar to me and so I am happy to see that this history is being brought to the wider British public in a very meaningful way,” she added.

The Making Freedom exhibition celebrates those who resisted enslavement, those who fought to end it, as well as those in Britain, who worked to improve social, economic and cultural conditions in the Caribbean.

It features more than 80 images from the Royal Geographical Society’s collections and includes a number of audio-visual experiences for visitors to delve deeper into individual stories.

Visitors will learn about the unrests – such as Jamaica’s 1931 Christmas Rebellion – that ultimately led to emancipation, as well as the struggles for independence that ensued.

The High Commissioner said the exhibition showed that the foundation was continuing its core ethos of promoting good community relations, while endeavouring to eliminate discrimination and making the general public aware of the contribution of African and Caribbean settlers and their descendants to Britain’s prosperity and heritage.

Windrush Project Director, Arthur Torrington, said that the exhibition is breaking new ground in the way that the story of Emancipation is told. “It shows how the Africans were the agents of their own liberation,” he stated.