Today marks the start of Black History Month, an annual observance recognising the important contribution of black people and events in our history and today.
The Belfast Charitable Society has not shied away from the fact that its members, back in the late eighteenth century, were a mismatch of those who benefited significantly from the slave trade – either through the ownership of plantations or related business activity – and another group of people who were part of the abolitionist movement and anti-slavery voice of the day.
However by focusing too much on these individuals, we too are covering up the real conversations that need to be addressed on the horrors of slavery at that time, and the ongoing legacy that still impacts society today.
Listen again to our President, Sir Ronnie Weatherup and David Olusoga speak about the juxtaposition between philanthropy and slavery at the launch of the Mary Ann McCracken Foundation last year.