The Abolition of British Slavery – Interactive Map

The BBC have quite good resources, and I remember using their website when I was in school.

How do I update this? How do I develop this?

I need to answer this in my project. What I do know is that my audience don’t expect to be patronised, and are quite sophisticated when it comes to their visual media preferences. When you consider the video games, websites, and mobile technology that they are accustomed to, you can see that 11-16 year olds are quite advanced, and are more complex in their thinking than they are credited. I remember when I was in school thinking I knew more than the teachers, and feeling patronised by them, so I have no doubt that school kids can be strong-minded and capable of forming their own opinions.



Free The Slaves


I feel quite ignorant, not having given the issue of modern-day slavery much thought. I want to learn more, and find out especially what organizations are doing, and how possibly I could be involved. I feel this project will be worthwhile for myself, and I want to make it worthwhile for the different causes aimed at eradicating slavery. I have no doubt that slavery exists even in London, so this is definitely an issue that didn’t end with the Abolition of Slavery.

*What I have also noticed is how many interactive maps are available online, so I need to think for the project how a develop a visual style that suits the need of my audience and can stand apart. Most importantly, I don’t want to lose sight of the educational purpose of my project, and a rewriting of Black History in a global history that reflects the current present. Children will be at the focal point, and I have seen recently in the news how young people respond to children similar to them, albeit in desperate situations:

Boy raises cash for Syria

A seven-year-old boy has swum 21 miles to help children in Syria.

Human Trafficking in the World

This map shows government action to combat human trafficking and modern slavery in 177 countries with Tier 1 ranking as the highest ranking. A Tier 1 indicates that a state government has recognized the problem of human trafficking, has made efforts to address the issue, and meets the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA) minimum standards. A country with a Tier 2 rating has not met the standards but has made efforts to do so, while a Tier 3 rating means the country has not met the minimum standards and has not attempted to do so.

What is Human Trafficking?

According to United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime: Human Trafficking defines Trafficking in Persons as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs, forced recruitment for child soldiers.

Major forms of human trafficking include: forced labor, sex trafficking, bonded labor, debt bondage among migrant laborers, involuntary domestic servitude, forced child labor, child soldiers, child sex trafficking.

How is Human Trafficking Tier placement is calculated?

The Department of State, United States of America prepared this report using information from U.S. embassies, government officials, NGOs and international organizations, published reports, research trips to every region, and information submitted to tipreport [at]

U.S. diplomatic posts and domestic agencies reported on the trafficking situation and governmental action based on thorough research that included meetings with a wide variety of government officials, local and international NGO representatives, officials of international organizations, journalists, academics, and survivors. Every U.S. mission overseas employs at least one officer covering human trafficking issues.

The Department places each country in one of three tiers as mandated by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA). This placement is based more on the extent of government action to combat trafficking than on the size of the problem, although the latter is also an important factor. The analyses are based on the extent of governments’ efforts to reach compliance with the TVPA’s minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking.

Tier Placement as follows:

  • TIER 1: Countries whose governments fully comply with the TVPA minimum standards.
  • TIER 2: Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the TVPA’s minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards.
  • TIER 2 WATCH LIST: Same as TIER 2, but: the absolute number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is very significant or is significantly increasing; also there is a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year; or, the determination that a country is making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with minimum standards was based on commitments by the country to take additional future steps over the next year.
  • TIER 3: Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so.


*This subject area is very interesting for me as I had no real idea of it before. It’s something I want to explore further and find out more about. I will try to attend the Anti-Slavery Walk 2nd Dec, for further research:

* also allow users to create their own maps which is something I’ll have a go at.

If There Were Only 100 People Left On Earth

I found these charts very interesting. They present information quickly and clearly, and a few statistics especially about education and internet access really shocked me. There are doubts about the accuracy of the data, but relating to my project and ideas, in particular the charts on nationality and skin colour, it deals with is issues in a contemporary context which is what my audience prefer.

Geography of Race in the U.S.

Although I have shifted my focus somewhat from race in itself, I still find it very interesting to see how it is dealt with in the present day.

This website explores the spatial distribution of racial groups in the United States, its historical and contemporary causes, and its consequences for racial inequality. Location matters for one’s access to many goods: decent housing, employment opportunities, voting power, education, low-cost public services, a clean environment, connections to influential people. Managing the spatial distribution of racial groups has therefore been a key tool for controlling who gets access to these goods. This website focuses on the role of government and laws in constructing the spacial distribution of racial groups, although some attention is also paid to private sector actions. The interactive maps and other information contained in this site reveal several dimensions of this process

I can see some of the errors in my thinking, especially with information gathered about my audience. People want to see what is happening now! It isn’t out of apathy for the past, but a more pressing concern for real life situations. I think that there is a link to be made between the present and past, however the present must be the starting point.

*Just a thought, the most recent cases of racism have been in football. And also in wider British society, discrimination seems more frequent to me against South Asian, and Muslim communities in Britain. Although I’ve experienced ‘anti-black’ racism, that is perhaps an exception to the current abhorrent Islamophobic rule.

*Also, this work takes into account economic and political factors which I have all too often glossed over. Race as social, is socioeconomic and also sociopolitical.

Geography = Good

I also found from my research why Geography for the non-history lover is more preferable:

  • Fact
  • See what is happening around you now
  • Children
  • Population
  • Economy
  • Climates
  • Rivers
  • What will it be in the future
  • Tangible
  • Statistics
  • Universal, refers to the world
  • No opinion, no bias
  • Visualise it

Adapting my interest in geography and maps, space and place, and belonging, I want to bear in mind the points above, applying them to history. I’ve highlighted a few points that I think I need to deal with in the early stages of development.

What stands out to me was a quick comment from my brother about his Geography classes, that he gets to see the world around him and children. It seems logical that he would want to be able to relate with others around him, around the world, and that these themes would be of more interest to him. Immediately I think that children and young adults should be a focus in my work, in relation to global slavery.

It is something I have never consider in much depth and welcome any advice on where I can find more information.


I’m going back to school with my project. I remember how I used to challenge what I was being taught, and present what I felt more appropriate. It reflects a call from the conversation with my brother, for accounts of history that can be made relevant to where he is today. I am also considering the need to rewrite histories into a global narrative, a World History. Slavery is a human condition, not only African, and within the Atlantic Slave Trade, more than just African’s were exploited. Slavery is also prevalent in modern-day trafficking which I’m sure has a history also.

I want to create an online educational resource, not just for black history month, but for 11-16 year olds to understand, using visual language and an internet culture that they’d understand. I am aiming at this point to communicate the histories of slaveries, intending to work at one level of revised world histories, and also making history more visual and accessible for students.

Audience Research

In an impromptu conversation with my younger brother, I managed to gain further insight that has helped me with my project.

There’s no doubt that history hasn’t changed.

Whilst my brother confirmed to me that at the school we both attended, history classes are as dull as ever, it seems that the perspectives and flaws in history remain the same. Both the account of history and teaching of it seem to be losing out to other subjects.

I don’t want to be premature in guessing that this could be a reason why he and his age group seem uninterested in racial identity. His nativity to the racism I experienced, which reflected my parents and grandparent’s especially during 60s- 80s Britain, haven’t compelled him to consider the history of racism like I have. Nor would he consider doing so having been put well off of history from his experience in school.

He told me quite clearly that he doesn’t need to know about as it wasn’t relevant to him in the present day. Nor was he impressed with Black History as it is taught, given that one hour lessons [over the space of one month], couldn’t do the Slave Trade justice, let alone present him with the sexier and more fashionable ideas of blackness in the present day. My opinion is that Black History, at the end of the day, falls into the trap of History, and all its dullness. If it is meant to inspire young black people then it seems to be out of touch.

More findings from my brother:

  • Not relevant to present day
  • Can’t visualise it
  • Can find out quicker online
  • Always the same sources, going over the same things
  • Too much text and book based
  • Never enough information recorded
  • Too many estimates and opinions
  • Fake reconstructions with actors
  • Not titillating enough like Ancient Egypt
  • History shouldn’t even be considered if you can’t see it now
  • Too narrow-minded
  • Too Eurocentric (Russia, Germany, etc.)
  • Doesn’t excite or make you feel included

Black history in particular:

  • stereotypical
  • Not all modern-day blacks are from Africa
  • Africa has changed
  • Causes problems between black and white students
  • Not taught fully
  • Why is it only Atlantic Slave Trade

I have been using these findings, in combination other research to form the basis of my ideas. I have made a few conclusions from this research:

History perhaps needs more up to date visualisations. How has history been re-visualised?

History should include choice. How do you increase perspectives of history?

History in School

Following on from my discussion in the reading group over Black History in school, I am reflecting on my experience. History in general was so booooooooring in school! I cannot put it down enough. I remember the grey books we hard, and the grey tables, and the grey classrooms, and I know some people enjoyed it but most people couldn’t wait to drop it as GCSE. Why was it so boring?

This is something I want to look in further, and why I can’t remember anything they taught me there, but remember vididly the Tudors, Romans, and Ancient Egyptians from my Primary School over 10 years ago.

Me and my friend, Dave ‘Alando’ Barnet took it upon ourselves to produce our own annual drama and dance production during black history month to teach black history. This was well attended, and we managed to produce multiple accounts of histories from multiple perspectives. I have no doubt that a new approach to history in schools was needed then, and probably still needed now.

Rewriting World History

I found this show very useful:

I agree with most of what was said, particularly the need for a revision of history, and consideration of multiple histories. I put some of these arguments forward in reading group in discussion of Andrea Stuart’s book Sugar in the Blood:

I found it interesting that whilst most people can agree on racism as wrong, history remains a contentious issue. Stuart reconnects British history to Barbados and the sugar trade. Whilst it is only one revision of British history, it led to discussion in the reading of history in school. I contested that black history is taught, if not badly. By its very name, black history, the Atlantic Slave Trade is taken out of the context of a world history, and is never detailed enough, nor taught from varying perspectives. It seems quite superficial, and taught just to appease black communities rather than educate all of society. On reflection, my lessons on black history were only ever about slavery and was only ever presented as white American’s as powerful exploiters, and Africans as exploited victims.

The subject of history was also contentious as the members of the reading group had their own individual and personal interpretations of histories, particularly the Atlantic Slave Trade. I feel that this narrative can be quite divisive, and forces whites to adapt an apologetic attitude, and blacks to demonstrate a healed and recuperated identity. History gets more problematic when it is used in the present as a means for justification or blame, especially when accounts either aren’t accurately recorded, omitted, or taught incorrectly.

I feel sufficiently removed, and indifferent to the Atlantic Slave Trade, not least because I never lived it, to tackle it in this project. I really want to challenge how it is taught, thought of, and theorized in the present day.