- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 8, 2007

British Ambassador Sir David Manning didn’t mince words when describing his country’s historic role in the slave trade.

“Liverpool was a major port for this shameful traffic,” he noted during a reception at his residence Wednesday for the International Slavery Museum.

That city already operates the Transatlantic Slavery Gallery, but the new museum there will expand its scope to reflect both the horrors of slavery and its modern repercussions.

The event for the new museum, slated to open Aug. 23, drew representatives of the U.S. Holocaust Museum as well as Lonnie G. Bunch, the founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

David Fleming, director of National Museums Liverpool, said historians must not only explore this part of our collective past but put it in context.

“History has very little meaning to people unless we can draw modern parallels,” Mr. Fleming said.

Before the program, museum director Richard Benjamin said the selection of the facility’s name was “very deliberate,” and noted that it hopes to address past and current forms of slavery.

“It’s about physical bondage, mental bondage,” Mr. Benjamin said.

Loyd Grossman, chairman of Trustees of National Museums Liverpool, said to think slavery is all about the past is “nutty.”

“The legacy of slavery affects everyone,” Mr. Grossman said. “It’s as much about white history as it is about black history.”

Christian Toto

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