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Project TRUTH report launched

Project TRUTH report launched

The views of Afrikan Heritage Communities across Bristol have been captured in a new report on how the city should memorialise its involvement in the transatlantic trafficking of enslaved Afrikans.

19 January 2022

The Project TRUTH (Telling Restoring Understanding our Tapestry and History) report, launched during an online event on Tuesday 18 January, will be published later this week.

The launch follows more than two years’ work by the council’s Legacy Steering Group (LSG) Project TRUTH subgroup.

The subgroup, which includes the delivery partner Black South West Network, has worked alongside LSG member community groups including Afrikan ConneXions Consortium, Blak Wave Productions and One Bristol Curriculum to develop and deliver the report.

A six-month consultation process last year involved a range of engagement including a weekly show on Ujima Radio, an online survey in early 2021, and eight focus groups undertaken throughout the spring of 2021.

Councillor Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor of Bristol and Chair of the Legacy Steering Group, said:

“There has been a strong feeling within the community that the voices of Afrikan Heritage Communities have not been properly heard on this matter, and yet they are the communities that continue to experience disadvantage as a result of this history. The Legacy Steering Group was therefore committed to investing in this process, which had strong community leadership and involvement.”

“This is a historic milestone in Bristol’s substantive work around reparatory justice and builds on the resolutions of the Atonement and Reparations motion that was passed by Full Council on 2 March 2021. The consultation raised many themes such as the impact on community identity, knowledge of self and history and what tangible legacy-building needs to take place to address the consequences of this history on many areas of people’s lives and life chances.”

The report makes several recommendations for how stakeholders, such as churches, universities and corporations, can play a role in addressing the current impact of this history on Afrikan Heritage Communities.

The report also contains recommendations for how Afrikan Heritage Communities can play a role in what Afrikan ConneXions Consortium describes as ‘Community Self Repairs’ processes.

The Legacy Steering Group emphasises that the launch of the report is more of a milestone than an end to this process, recognising there is still much work to do in memorialising Bristol’s involvement in the transatlantic trafficking of enslaved Afrikans.

Wider participation by Afrikan Heritage Communities and other stakeholders will be needed to ensure the success of Project TRUTH phase 2, which will continue the themes of education, restitution, legacy and atonement.

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