Revealing Histories: Remembering Slavery

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Lid of a tobacco box - Anti-slavery propaganda

Today we may wear wrist bands or ribbons to show support for causes such as ending poverty. In the 1770s, anti-slavery campaigners also used symbols to publicise the horrors of the slave trade. This image of a kneeling slave with chained hands and feet became a popular symbol of the campaign. It appeared on all sorts of different objects including this tobacco box lid which could have been owned by an abolitionist. These objects showed enslaved people as passive victims: in reality, they regularly resisted their oppression.

1922.1085 tobacco box lid lid of a tobacco box, possibly made in Coalbrookdale, 1750 - 1800, © Manchester City Galleries

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