UNISON Black members take a tour of Bristol’s slavery past

The tour was arranged as part of Black History Month.

UNISON members in our regional Black members self organised group pose for a photo by Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol

Our regional Black Members Committee took a walking tour of Bristol’s Clifton slavery past as part of Black History Month.

The group learned about some of Bristol’s darker secrets regarding its involvement in the slave trade and were able to see the tangible evidence of the infamous transatlantic slave trade that saw the forced movement of peoples from the African continent.

The grand houses and fine architecture spoke to the wealth merchants and business owners accumulated. The bespoke tour was created by Dr Edson Burton, a Bristol based historian, and showed how far and deep the trade reached and its influence in the industrial revolution of not only Bristol but other cities across the country.

The network of goods that needed processing, the consolidation of wealth by the inter-marrying of the noveau riche and the compensation made to merchants who lost their labour force due to the abolition of slavery were all demonstrated.

The committee felt that it was a thought provoking experience that opened their eyes to the hidden histories of several families that now forms part of the modern fabric of the neighbourhood.