You might remember that a few years ago Neil Macgregor of the British Museum told ‘A History of the World in 100 Objects’. This struck us as a really good way to rejuvenate our transatlantic slave trade topic in Year 8. During the last few weeks the girls have been introduced to 7 objects that can tell us something, both singly and as a group, about the story of the British transatlantic slave trade and slavery. Today we have spent the day in Wilberforce House Museum on the historic High Street in Hull. Girls spent all morning in the museum’s galleries. ‘Oh look, it’s…’ was a really lovely thing to hear as they discovered their objects. They were then able to research the historical context using more source material and the museum’s interpretation boards. The girls are writing their own ‘histories of the slave trade and slavery in 7 objects’. Sara Gilks and Hannah Walton-Hughes really enjoyed discovering new evidence and also deepening their existing knowledge by being able to explore the museum at their own pace.
This afternoon we turned our attention to the abolition campaign. Girls were divided into pro- and anti-slavery groups. They then had to put together an evidence based argument to support their position using information from the galleries and source collections. Our day ended in the Guildhall, where Anika Choy said she felt privileged to be able to speak in Hull’s magnificent council chamber. Our session leader was very impressed not only with the breadth and depth of evidence that the girls deployed to make their arguments, but also with the level of engagement they had with the moral issues of the topic and its modern resonance.