Coalition for Racial Equality & Rights

It Wisnae Us

The truth about Glasgow and Slavery

cover image of It Wisane Us

The Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights, formerley Glasgow Anti Racist Alliance, worked with the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) to launch this publication detailing the true role of Glasgow in the trans Atlantic slave trade.

"Scotland's role in the slave trade has long been a contentious issue. In modern times a myth of denial has evolved. It has been almost casually accepted that 'it wisnae us'. It is all too easy to see the Scots as victims of oppression rather than collaborators in the enslavement of nations. Underpinning disbelief and uncertainty until recently has been a lack of systematic research. This book examines the role of Glasgow, as both perpetrator and opponent of the 'Horrible Traffik' of slavery."

It Wisane Us ,written by former CRER Researcher Stephen Mullen, focuses on the buildings and streets of the Merchant City and highlights Glasgow's tangible links with slavery. For instance there are a range of streets in the city centre which pay tribute to the plantation colonies and the merchants who gained vast fortunes in trading with them, these streets include Buchanan Street, Virginia Street and Jamaica Street. In addition to this, the palladian magnificence of townhouses such as the Cunningham Mansion, now the Gallery of Modern Art, built by one of the wealthiest 'tobacco lords' demonstrate better than any historical work the huge profits Glasgow made through the colonial trade.

Historical exploration also tells the story of why and how Glasgow, the centre of the colonial trade in eighteenth century Britain, became the fulcrum of the anti-slavery movement in the half century after 1780.

 

 

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