Lancaster & the Transatlantic Slave Trade

A collection of Events and Resources

Lancaster was heavily involved in the Transatlantic Slave Trade, and was at one time the fourth-largest slave trading port in the country. Over the years, Litfest has presented events on this history, in partnership with Lancaster Black History Group, Judges Lodgings Museum, Lancaster University and more — you can view videos of these events below.

Imagined Portraits (Litfest 2023)

Artist Lela Harris and historian Imogen Tyler discuss the six paintings Lela created for the ‘Facing the Past’ Project — imagined portraits of known Black Lancastrians.

The Local Picture (Litfest 2023)

Nick Radburn, Sunita Abraham and Geraldine Onek discuss academic research, community research and educational projects surrounding the Transatlantic Slave Trade and Lancaster.

The National Picture (Litfest 2023)

Professor Will Pettigrew describes the importance of the Transatlantic Slave Trade to our national history; Dr James Dawkins describes the role of small shareholders in the Royal African Company.

Legacies of the Slave Trade (Litfest 2022)

Richard Atkinson, Alex Renton, Petra Onek and Sunita Abraham explore how their books, research and community work are together enabling a truer understanding of British history and its legacies.

Lancaster and the Atlantic Slave Trade: (Litfest 2022)

Professor Will Pettigrew and Doctor Nick Radburn of Lancaster University present their Transatlantic Slave Trade project, while Alan Rice talks about the work of Lancaster Black History Group

How We Live Now — Social Justice (2021)

Geraldine Onek talks about forming Lancaster Black History Group and the lives of Black people in Lancaster. Film from the ‘How We Live Now’ series (directed by Kyle McKenzie, producer Natalie Bowers.)