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Bristol History Podcast: Centuries of slavery and the city, and how enslaved people helped abolish the trade

Bristol’s long involvement in trading enslaved human beings, and the overlooked history of how it was brought down.

People's History

This week I spoke with Mark Steeds and Roger Ball to discuss their new book, ‘From Wulfstan to Colston: Severing the Sinews of Slavery in Bristol.’ Covering over a thousand years of history, the book charts Bristol’s long involvement in trading enslaved human beings. We discussed the two titular characters: St. Wulfstan, who was responsible for ending the slave trade between Bristol and Dublin in the 11th century; and Edward Colston, one of Bristol’s most prominent organisers of the African slave trade from the late 17th century. Mark and Roger also explained their problems with traditional narrative around abolition. To counter this they emphasise the importance of slave rebellions in the colonies, highlight the long-overlooked work of women in the abolition movement and draw attention to popular anti-slavery movements.

Bristol History Podcast is dedicated to exploring various aspects of Bristol’s history, hosted by Tom Brothwell. Produced in partnership with the Bristol Cable since April 2018.

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