(ADHT) African Diaspora Heritage Trail Bermuda
African Diaspora in Bermuda
“Diaspora” – a term used to describe the movement of a group of the population from its homeland.
Approximately 60% of Bermudians are of African descent. Created in 2001 as part of the UNESCO Slave Route Project, the African Diaspora Heritage Trail in Bermuda traces this movement, highlighting the slave-trade that brought Africans to Bermuda after the island was claimed by the British Empire. Bermudians are proud of their heritage and the African Diaspora Heritage Trail celebrates the African traditions that exist across the island. Stretching from St. George’s to Dockyard, the Trail visits museums and monuments dotted around the island that pays homage to those enslaved persons brought to Bermuda in the 18th Century and highlight their stories and the history they made.
The City of Hamilton is proud to be the home of four monuments on the African Diaspora Heritage Trail in Bermuda.
We Arrive located on the harbourfront in Barr’s Bay Park, is a bronze sculpture by Chelsey White that celebrates the freedom bestowed upon enslaved persons bound for the new world on the American Brig, Enterprise, which landed at this spot in 1835. The enslaved men, women and children aboard were declared free in Bermuda as the abhorrent practice of slavery had been abolished on the island in 1834. Out of 78 enslaved persons, all but one woman and her 5 children remained in Bermuda to build their new lives as freemen.
When Voices Rise, another sculpture by Chelsey Trott, reminds us of the brave men and women who stood up for their rights during a time of segregation. Located in Wesley Square, it represents the change brought about by the 1959 Theatre Boycott in Bermuda. It was a peaceful demonstration that resulted in great positive change for equality in Bermuda and was a shining example of success without the need for violence.
The Sally Bassett sculpture by Carlos Dowling, located on the grounds of the Cabinet Building, depicts the bravery of an enslaved woman, burned at the stake for leading a rebellion and encouraging other enslaved persons to poison their masters. She maintained her innocence, becoming a symbol of resilience and defiance in the face of inequality.
Against de Tide, by artist Bill Ming, portrays six men aboard a small boat, linked with rope, together battling the elements at sea in a scene of survival and courage. It can be found in Albouy’s Point near the Ferry Terminal.
Click here for the official webpage of the African Diaspora Heritage Trail in Bermuda.