New Headquarters Exhibition to Celebrate Black Achievers in Marking International Day for Victims of Slavery, Transatlantic Slave Trade, 8-29 March

Note No. 6497
7 March 2017

New Headquarters Exhibition to Celebrate Black Achievers in Marking International Day for Victims of Slavery, Transatlantic Slave Trade, 8-29 March

A new exhibition, A Legacy of Black Achievement, will go on display in the Visitors’ Lobby of United Nations Headquarters in New York from 8 to 29 March, in celebration of Black achievers past and present.

Produced by the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, United Kingdom, and adapted from that institution’s Black Achievers Wall gallery, the exhibition features 21 notable personalities from various backgrounds, eras, regions and disciplines who paved the way for civil and human rights, as well as recognition and justice for people of African descent in Africa, Europe, the Americas and across the globe.

A Legacy of Black Achievement is presented in partnership with the United Nations Department of Public Information’s Remember Slavery Programme, and will be on display during the commemorative events associated with the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.  “This exhibit fits perfectly with the 2017 theme for the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, which is ‘Remember Slavery:  Recognizing the Legacy and Contributions of People of African Descent’,” said Maher Nasser, Director of the Department’s Outreach Division.  “It reminds us of the ways in which the people of Africa and their descendants have helped to shape societies across the globe,” he added.  “In a world where racism and prejudice have not yet been stamped out, it is crucial that we remember and honour such contributions.”

Richard Benjamin, Head of the International Slavery Museum, said:  “The International Slavery Museum is incredibly pleased to have collaborated with the United Nations and the Remember Slavery Programme on this marvellous and timely exhibition.  The Black Achievers Wall in Liverpool is one of our most important displays as it highlights the many forms of achievement — often in the face of great adversity and difficulties — that have taken place both during and since the transatlantic slave trade era.  These remarkable feats have an enormously positive effect on visitors to the Museum, particularly younger visitors, and I’m sure this will also be the case in New York.”

The 2017 events will include a commemorative meeting of the General Assembly on 24 March, which will feature remarks by keynote speaker Lonnie G. Bunch III, Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.  The meeting will be followed by a cultural and culinary event, with live music by the Afro-Caribbean jazz group La Familia Sextet.

Visitors to the exhibition will also have the opportunity to see The Ark of Return, designed by renowned architect Rodney Leon and unveiled in 2015 on the grounds of the United Nations as the Permanent Memorial to Honour the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

The Day of Remembrance is organized under the mandate of the United Nations Remember Slavery Programme, established in 2007 to honour the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade, and to combat racism and prejudice today.

Visitors to the exhibition must register in person at the Visitors’ Check-in Office, at 801 First Avenue at 45th Street. They must then pass through United Nations Security screening at the 46th Street entrance to the main Headquarters building.  Valid photo identification is required.

For more information on the exhibition, associated events and the Remember Slavery Programme, please visit www.rememberslavery.un.org, or contact Omyma David at e-mail:  david17@un.org.  For media accreditation, please visit www.un.org/en/media/accreditation.

The International Slavery Museum is the only national museum in the world to cover transatlantic slavery and its legacies, as well as modern forms of slavery and enslavement.  That coverage includes highlighting positive Black role models from history and popular culture.  For more information on the museum, please visit www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/ism.

For information media. Not an official record.