29 January 2021: An investigation by the Guardian has revealed that 69 statues, plaques and memorials dedicated to slave traders and colonialist figures have been removed across the UK since last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests, with more to follow.
Schools, colleges, churches, charities, local councils and even pub landlords, are among those institutions that have chosen to remove or rename contentious memorials to figures who pioneered the trade of enslaved people.
This includes 39 streets, buildings and schools that have been (or are undergoing) name changes, and 30 statues of Sir John Cass, William Beckford, and Edward Colston.
More are slated for removal. In Wales, 209 monuments, buildings and street names have been identified as part of the country’s audit, with similar projects underway across the country including in London, Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham.
History professor, Dr Hakim Adi of Chichester University said: ‘It is unprecedented. I can’t think of a similar movement to effect a reckoning with the glorification of slavery, colonialism, empire, human trafficking and crimes against humanity. I don’t think there’s ever been anything on this level nationally.’