While a few British Members of Parliament are famously mentioned for ending the Slave Trade, Britain is never rightly given the credit for not only starting it but also profiting immensely from it but now a number of cities are starting to face up to their dark histories and reviewing buildings, streets and statues who commemorate men who whose hands were firmly involved in trading slaves.
Bristol is a city that was built on the wealth of the slave trade and the concert venue Colston Hall, named after Edward Colston a 17th-century philanthropist who gave great sums of money made from his trading of slaves to the city, is to be renamed after the council decided that it felt uncomfortable with the name of the building 'because of the perception that it had in some way profited from the slave trade'.
In Glasgow, Buchanan and Dunlop Street, named in honour of slave owners have been renamed and Liverpool have renamed Tarleton Street, Manesty’s Lane and Clarence Street, but dropped renaming Penny Lane, which was named to commemorate slave ship-owner James Penny, but is now more famous as the title of a Beatles song.
The Director of the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation at Hull University though thinks that a better strategy would be not to airbrush the past but to keep the names but draw attention to the dark life and times of the people the buildings and streets were named.
I can understand his view but i see having a building or street named after a person as an honour and would far rather see them renamed and the reasons why discussed than keep the name of such abhorrent people alive.