Welcome to Sankofa Day

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” ~ Martin Luther King.


Sankofa Day 2020


The Mayor of London in partnership with Sankofa Day*


Co-curated with Slavery Remembrance, Black Cultural Archives, The Equiano Society, Ligali and Wanda Nation.

We invite you to join us for this year’s very special Commemoration event to mark the 22nd year of UNESCO’s International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition.

This year’s event offers us an opportunity to reflect on how the the Transatlantic Slave Trade continues to have a profound impact on the lived realities of so many. We will consider how Britain’s role in the slave trade has been depicted over the years, who have been the story tellers and what stories are yet to be told.

Commemoration Ceremony: 4pm – 4.45pm

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement, Debbie Weekes-Bernard alongside a range of academics will reflect on the event’s theme of ‘reclaiming the past’. We are delighted to welcome S.I.Martin (author and historian), Olivette Otele (Professor of History of Slavery, Bristol University) and musical performances by saxophonist Xhosa Cole and Chineke! Orchestra.

Looking to the Future: 7pm – 8.30pm

Shezal Laing from Slavery Remembrance, with host SisDr Sandra Richards and invited speakers will lead through us panel discussions. These will focus on the social, physical and economic impact of the transatlantic slave trade on London, and how this period of history is currently taught. We will also have featured performances from pianist and violinist Sam West and singer-songwriter Ayanna Witter-Johnson.

Panel discussion 1 – Statues, Docks, Sugar & Money

Chair: Shezal Laing (founder of Slavery Remembrance) featuring special guests including Esther Stanford (Reparations Committee), Arike Oke (Black Cultural Archives), Toyin Agbetu (Ligali) and Jak Beula (Nubian Jak).

Panel discussion 2 – Education and History

Chair: Tony Warner (founder of Black History Walks) featuring special guests including Apex Zero (My Tribe), The Young Historian Project and Florence Onbanjo (GLA Peer Outreach worker).

Location: Online
Date: 23 August, 2020
Duration: 1 Day