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Humanitarian ImperialismThe Politics of Anti-Slavery Activism, 1880-1940$
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Amalia Ribi Forclaz

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198733034

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198733034.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 05 December 2021

Popular Anti-Slavery Campaigns in Britain, 1927–1933

Popular Anti-Slavery Campaigns in Britain, 1927–1933

(p.77) 3 Popular Anti-Slavery Campaigns in Britain, 1927–1933
Humanitarian Imperialism

Amalia Ribi Forclaz

Oxford University Press

Chapter 3 shows how British anti-slavery activists responded to the perceived decline of international cooperation in the late 1920s by launching an extensive domestic campaign for public awareness across multiple media. The efforts of one of the leading abolitionists of the 1920s and 1930s, Lady Kathleen Simon, document the purposeful exploitation of lantern lectures, films, and educational radio programmes. In order to convince people of the value of Britain’s continued abolitionist engagement, Simon and her peers used simplified representations of slavery, thus creating analogies between contemporary African forms and the more familiar images of the brutality of the transatlantic slave trade and of American plantation slavery. The campaign to educate public opinion reached its peak in 1933/4 during the celebrations of the centenary of the Emancipation Act, which in 1833 had granted freedom to slaves in British colonies, thus revealing the powerful use of history in establishing humanitarian claims.

Keywords:   Britain, anti-slavery activism, Kathleen Simon, interwar period, media, campaign, transatlantic slave trade, history

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