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 debate, led by Professor Bridget Bennett (University of Leeds), 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.
For more information on a guided walk prior to the talk, please see here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/us-slavery-and-yorkshire-anti-slavery-forgotten-narratives-guided-walk-tickets-26752448293
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.
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