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London, Sugar and Slavery

Marking the bicentenary of Britain's abolition of the Slave Trade Act in 1807, the Museum of London Docklands has opened London's only permanent gallery to examine the city’s involvement in transatlantic slavery and its legacy on the capital.  
The new gallery - called London, Sugar & Slavery  - reveals how London’s involvement in slavery has shaped the capital since the 17th century and challenges what people think they know about the transatlantic slave trade. It debunks the myth that London was a minor player in the trade by showing that it funded much of the The new gallery at the Museum in Docklands (image courtesy of the Museum)city’s industrial and financial success. From Jamaica Road to the Bank of England, from the merchant houses of Blackheath to the nation’s art collections, profits from this most lucrative trade shaped the metropolis.

Visitors will find themselves questioning the real motivations behind the abolition legislation, discovering Britain’s continuing relationship with its West Indian colonies and be challenged to think about the long term effects of the slave trade on London and Londoners today.

The new gallery includes personal accounts, film, music and over 140 objects, including the table at which negotiations over the Abolition Act were hammered out, plus art from the cultures that were impacted by the transatlantic slave trade. Visitors will be able to record their own responses to the subject on a comments wall and there is also a performance area and exhibition space for community groups. 

For more information about other attractions at the Museum please see the Key Events listing on this website or visit the Museum's website (opens in a new window).