Naming a London park after Diane Abbott won't help to educate a generation on slavery, says Nana Akua
Slavery is deeper than just changing the name of a park in an attempt to forget it ever happened
A park in London which is named after William Gladstone could be renamed to Diane Abbott Park.
Gladstone was a British statesman and Liberal politician whose career spanned over six decades, where he served as the British Prime Minister for 12 years over four terms from 1868 to 1894.
Well his family are linked to the slave trade.
His father John Gladstone had slaves and plantations in Jamaica and Guyana hundreds of years ago, so Labour run Brent council, as part of a slavery review, are considering renaming the William Gladstone Park, Diane Abbott Park.
That is funny right?
Do you mean the Dianne Abbot who said that private schools should be abolished and then it turns out her offspring were being privately educated in them.
They asked 5- to 13-year-olds to produce some park name ideas as part of the council’s project on “injustice, prejudice and racism” in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement. Some included Multifaith Park, Diversity Fields and BAME Park.
Whilst I am all for creating a wonderful supporting environment where people can flourish and if something truly offends then removing it may help.
How about, however, we start educating our kids firstly about the true facts about the Slave Trade, which at the time was legal and involved black slave owners who actively participated by selling their people in the first instance.
It was horrific and abhorrent, but the UK were the first to abolish it.
That modern day slavery which we are all guilty of participating in is happening right before their very eyes. To create a better world, this needs to be acknowledged.
Slavery is deeper than just changing the name of a park in an attempt to forget it ever happened some 200 years ago and then to blindly participate in modern day slavery, which is not really educating a new generation at all.
I put it to Brent Council and others like it who go down this path, that instead of changing things on the surface, how about they work on educating a generation on how they are contributing to current modern day slavery.
I bet the children who came up with these names, whilst they may be versed in the Black Lives Matter Movement are unaware that many of their modern-day goods and services are a result of slave labour.