As a TES author and a QCA consultant, I find it disconcerting when the history curriculum requires that a case be made for the slave trade.
A case can never be made for the huge suffering that goes with enslaving human beings(for example as it occurs in the sex-slave industry of modern times or as exploited labour on some cotton/sugarcane plantation in the 18th century).
The truth is that the suffering and degradation of other people diminish the dignity of our species. This was the rallying cry of the Quakers and the Abolitionists who fought so long and hard to end the trade in humans.
Evidence from the various strands of social media, suggests that race relations are important sociological elements in the thinking of young people today. It must be mentioned that many young people don’t realise that white people of goodwill; such as William Wilberforce worked alongside fellow black Abolitionists such as Oludah Equono (as life-long friends) to end the slave trade.
Life is essentially a journey we’ve all embarked on. The mugged and wounded traveller on Jericho’s highway should be the concern of all of us and not just that of the Good Samaritan.
We cannot be spiritually isolated entities in a world that is geographically held together. Our children must be taught about the huge contributions and endless efforts the Quakers; the champions of the abolitionist movement made to end the slave trade. Our young people need to know about Peg-leg Joe. The one legged abolitionist who risked life and limb, travelling from one cotton plantation to another, teaching slaves in coded folk songs about the constellations and stars they were to follow as they journeyed along the Mississippi river to a destination where he would be waiting to assist them to freedom.
The book Kadeja the Fulani Pearl Queen flags this collaboration between black and white Abolitionists to end the Slave Trade in its appendix section and follow on work.
The story of Kadeja is a haunting tale about the capture of a Fulani princess as she travelled through the African rainforest to her betrothed; the heir of the Ashanti throne.
The book is an engaging tale about the ardent love and aspiration of 2 young people. The work is nevertheless a crucial teaching resource for Key Stage 2 and 3 History lessons about the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
The book “Kadeja the Fulani Pearl Queen” is a concise teaching resource and enables teachers to deliver excellent lessons about the Slave Trade. The book in its appendix section, examines the impact the trade had on different aspects of African life.
The future belongs to our young people. We all reap what we sow. If we sow seeds in the hearts of young that makes them sensitive to the pain and suffering of other people, then we will find that we go into our twilight years safe in the knowledge that those who will govern and wield influence when we are aged and at times frail will be noble spirited individuals who remember that we loved and nurtured them when they were little and vulnerable and need to show us love, respect and compassion even as our eyes begin to dim…
Stella Osammor