Home Upcoming Events History Litfest 2022 Legacies of the Slave Trade: Richard Atkinson, Geraldine Onek & Alex Renton

Legacies of the Slave Trade: Richard Atkinson, Geraldine Onek & Alex Renton

Like many well-to-do Georgian families, the Atkinsons’ wealth was acquired at a terrible cost, through the labour and lives of enslaved Africans. Drawing on his ancestors’ private correspondence, in Mr Atkinson’s Rum Contract Richard Atkinson pieces together their unsettling story, from the weather-beaten house in Cumbria where his family once lived, to the ruins of their sugar estates in Jamaica. In Blood Legacy, drawing similarly on family papers in Scotland, Alex Renton explores what inheritance – political, economic, moral and spiritual – has been passed to the descendants of the slave owners and the descendants of the enslaved, and asks how reparations can be made for the past.
Geraldine Onek will discuss with Richard and Alex how they came to write their books, and how they and the work being done by Lancaster Black History Group and the University’s Atlantic Slave Trade project are helping us all to gain a truer understanding of British history and its legacies.

Mr Atkinson’s Rum Contract is “A towering achievement, founded on painstaking research, written with elegance and elan, salted with humour and shot-through with intelligent warmth and compassion” -Monica Ali


Blood Legacy is “an incredible work of scholarship” -Sathnam Sanghera


Richard Atkinson is a book publisher. He lives in London, but holds a deep-rooted affection for the north of England, the land of his ancestors.
Geraldine Onek is a primary school teacher, an honorary researcher at Lancaster University and founder of Lancaster Black History Group.
Alex Renton is a journalist who has won awards for his work as an investigator, war correspondent and food policy writer. He lives in Edinburgh.

How to Watch:
In person at The Auditorium, The Storey
Online via Crowdcast

Watch in-person £8 (£6 concessions)
Watch online £5

Online Tickets

In-person Tickets

Buy your copy from the Litfest Bookshop!
 Mr Atkinson's Rum Contract book cover


20 Mar 2022


3:00 pm


The Storey Auditorium
Meeting House Lane, Lancaster, LA1 1TH

Location 2

Online via Crowdcast

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