If you were living in Leeds in the 1840s and 1850s you would undoubtedly have heard of anti-slavery speeches made to huge local audiences by African American activists and their supporters. The University of Leeds will offer a guided walk of sites associated with the entwined histories of African self-emancipation and anti-slavery activism in 19th-century Leeds, public discussion of the significance of the archives of anti-slavery activism, and a chance to visit the Leeds Library, which presents an exhibition on Quaker businessman Wilson Armistead and a play tracing the extraordinary escape of Ellen and William Craft from enslavement in Georgia.
Due to high demand we are offering a second walk on Friday 25 November at the same time (13.15 -15.15).
There is also a public debate, led by Professor Bridget Bennett (University of Leeds), at The Leeds Library (18 Commercial Street) on the significance of the archives of anti-slavery activism after the walk. For details and booking see here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/us-slavery-and-yorkshire-anti-slavery-forgotten-narratives-public-talk-tickets-26752656917.
In the evening there is a play 'Meet the Crafts' tracing the extraordinary escape, from enslavement in Georgia, of Ellen and William Craft. The couple were each listed in the 1851 census as a 'fugitive slave' when they were hosted by Armistead in his home in Leeds. They went on to publish an acclaimed book, Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom (1860). The performance takes place in The Leeds Library, 18 Commercial Street. For booking: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/us-slavery-and-yorkshire-anti-slavery-meet-the-crafts-tickets-26753301846. It will be preceded at 18.30 by a wine reception.
Between 17 and 25 November The Leeds Library also hosts an exhibition - for more details: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/us-slavery-and-yorkshire-anti-slavery-forgotten-narratives-tickets-26751920715) on the Quaker businessman Wilson Armistead (1819-1868), himself a onetime library member.
This event is part of the Being Human festival - the UK’s only national festival of the humanities. As our festival events are free, not everyone who asks for tickets comes to our events. To make sure we have a full house, we allocate more tickets than there are seats. We do our best to get the numbers right, but unfortunately we occasionally have to disappoint people. Admission is on a first-come-first-served basis, so please arrive in good time for the start of the event.
Pictures might be taken at the event and may be used for future marketing purposes by the University of Leeds, its partners and the Being Human Festival. By attending you give your express consent to that use without compensation or credit. If you do not wish to be included in any photographs and would like your pictures removed, please let the local organiser at the event know.