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Exclusive: Anti-colonial educator says Fabian Society's call for London slavery museum is not sufficient to tackle Britain's imperial legacy

BUILDING a slavery museum in London would not do enough to address Britain’s imperial legacy, a pioneering researcher has warned.

The Fabian Society made the proposal today in a new report “Capital Gains,” which is endorsed by London mayor Sadiq Khan, historian David Olusoga and the Runnymede Trust.

But a group of anti-colonial educators based in Kenya and Britain say the plans need to be more ambitious.

“We commend the report for drawing attention to Britain’s dark and inglorious past,” Olivia Windham Stewart from the Museum of British Colonialism told the Morning Star.  

“For confronting the fact that ‘until and unless Britain comes to terms with this history it will be impossible to understand, much less eradicate the views that continue to justify racial inequality today’.

“But to suggest that a museum or monument to slavery is somehow sufficient, is to point to slavery and the slave trade as a singular historic aberration and by doing so contribute to a negation of the larger sin of British colonialism writ large as a global system of which slavery was a part.

“It is to overlook the histories of those who experience racism and discrimination today but who have no historic links to the slave trade at all. 

“It is to overlook Bangladesh, Burma, India, Ireland, Kenya, Malaya, Pakistan and indeed the 60 plus countries that gained independence from the United Kingdom in the 20th century. 

“It is to overlook those countries that still fight for independence today.

“Though confrontation with our role in the slave trade is essential, our role in the world went far beyond this. And we must face up to all of it.”

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