Teachers Affirm Value of Travelling Slavery Exhibition

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Educators attend the Teachers Workshop for School Traveling Exhibition “Lest We Forget: The Triumph Over Slavery,” on October 20, 2007. They listened to presentations by Chairman of the Antiquities, Monuments and Museums Corporation (AMMC) Dr. Davidson Hepburn, Senior Education Officer (Social Studies) at the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture Sharon Poitier, Chief Curator of the National Museum of the Bahamas (AMMC) Kim Outten-Stubbs and AMMC Education Officer Andrea Major. (BIS photo: Eric Rose)

By Eric Rose

NASSAU, Bahamas – Educators attending the recent teachers’ workshop for the “Lest We Forget: The Triumph Over Slavery” School Traveling Exhibition said the exhibition will be a valuable tool in assisting their students in understanding the impact of the Transatlantic Slave Trade on their lives.

“I feel that the exhibition is an excellent opportunity for students to learn about the slavery movement in The Bahamas and the Americas,” D.W. Davis Junior High School Social Science teacher Raquel Hall said after attending the recent workshop.

“The exhibition enhances the learning experience of the students, as it provides a story – with graphics – of the slave movement from the capture of the slaves to emancipation. It also brings out empathy, which is a high behavioural objective of social studies by creating an awareness of the suffering and triumphs of our ancestors.”

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the New York Public Library in conjunction with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Slave Route Project created the traveling version of the exhibition “Lest We Forget: The Triumph Over Slavery” to mark the United Nations General Assembly’s resolution proclaiming 2004 The International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition. This year marked the 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade

The National Museum of The Bahamas (AMMC) and the Ministry of Education, Youth Sports and Culture partnered to bring the exhibition to The Bahamas.

Educators attending the teachers workshop listened to presentations by Chairman of the Antiquities, Monuments and Museums Corporation (AMMC) Dr. Davidson Hepburn,
Senior Education Officer (Social Studies) at the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture Sharon Poitier, Chief Curator of the National Museum of the Bahamas (AMMC) Kim Outten-Stubbs and AMMC Education Officer Andrea Major.

L.W. Young Junior High School teacher Tracy Strachan said that the fact that the traveling exhibition will be held in the various schools would encourage more students to see it because they would not have to leave the campus.
“Remember, when you have a school like ours with about 1,300 students, teachers would be able to carry everyone to see such an exhibition,” she said. “Since it comes to the schools it would be beneficial for all to see, including the teachers. “

She said that the exhibition would also be beneficial because it fits into the curriculum that the students are already a part of in junior high senior high.

“I think that it could help them have a deeper appreciation for their culture and their heritage,” Strachan said.

Assata Kokayi, who is pursing her Master’s degree in History at the University of the West Indies (Jamaica), said the traveling exhibition appears to be a good one in the sense of highlighting the subject of slavery, especially the resistance to slavery.

“I think that a lot of the time the emphasis is on the abolitionists and what they did, but on the flip side there is lesser time spent on the enslaved persons and what they did to resist slavery,” she said. “If this exhibition can throw a new light on the subject of slavery, in terms of the resistance movement, then it would be effective.”

Social Studies teacher at the H.O. Nash Junior High School Richard Deal said he believes that students can learn a lot from the traveling exhibition, pointing out that the use of graphics and pictures will attract those who see it to read the text on the displays.

“The pictures are basically showing what they are reading, so they can see elements of it in action,” he said.

Mr. Deal added that the students would gravitate towards such an exhibition, provided that they understood what made aspects of the Transatlantic Slave Trade “authentically Bahamian.”

“I think that if the students understand where they came from, they would have an appreciation for the future and where they are going, so they could understand that ‘Yes, in The Bahamas we had slavery’,” he said.
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Educators attend the Teachers Workshop for School Traveling Exhibition “Lest We Forget: The Triumph Over Slavery,” on October 20, 2007. They listened to presentations by Chairman of the Antiquities, Monuments and Museums Corporation (AMMC) Dr. Davidson Hepburn, Senior Education Officer (Social Studies) at the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture Sharon Poitier, Chief Curator of the National Museum of the Bahamas (AMMC) Kim Outten-Stubbs and AMMC Education Officer Andrea Major. (BIS photo: Eric Rose)