The 17th century colonisation of North America and the Caribbean by emigrants from the British Isles was, almost from its beginning, dependent on the brutal forced transatlantic migration of millions of enslaved African people. Their labour made possible the industrial-scale production of lucrative crops such as tobacco, sugar and cotton which created the wealth, not just of individual British plantation owners, but of much of the wider British economy. Much of this history has remained hidden and only very recently have serious attempts begun to investigate and acknowledge the role that slavery played in Britain’s wealth, power and influence. But what if those investigations lead to your own front door and start to shatter your family myths?
Mukti Jain Campion explores this dark strand of British emigration history with:
Professor Matthew Smith, Director of the Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slave-ownership at University College London
Madge Dresser, Honorary Professor of History, Bristol University and author of Slavery Obscured
Oliver Colegrave and his father Stephen Colegrave, co-founder of the Byline Times
Sally Hadden, Associate Professor of History, Western Michigan University and author of Slave Patrols: Law and Violence in Virginia and the Carolinas
A Culture Wise Production for the Migration Museum
Producer: Mukti Jain Campion
Readings: Udoka Oyeka and Adrian Preater
Music: Shakira Malkani
Image credit: Osbert Parker from his video Timeline, as featured in the Migration Museum's Departures exhibition.
Exhibition: This podcast accompanies the exhibition Departures: 400 Years of Emigration from Britain at the Migration Museum in London. For more information, visit: www.migrationmuseum.org/exhibition/departures.