International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition | August 23

August 23 was designated by UNESCO as the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition to memorialize the transatlantic slave trade and the date of the Haiti Uprising in 1791, which opened the door to freedom.

Doorway to Freedom

By: Cheikh Seck from Senegal

This is the House of Slaves in the Island of Goree (in Africa ) where slaves used to be kept before being shipped overseas.

Watch this interview with Dread Scott, a revolutionary artist who works to propel history forward with his art, as he discusses his Slave Reenactment Project. Dread Scott's aim is to provide a new way to look at history and relate history to the present. In this case, the reenactment is of the largest rebellion of enslaved people in the US which took place in Louisiana in 1811.  

Dread Scott on the Slave Rebellion Reenactment

Eva Haller

What was the Haiti Uprising aka Haitian Revolution?

On the night of August 22 to August 23, 1791, there was a slave uprising in the French colony of Saint-Domingue (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic). The battle lasted 13 years, ending with the independent state of Haiti.


Men of Mark: Eminent, progressive and Rising: Toussaint L'Ouverture, 1887

By: William J Simmons

From the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division, New York Public Library

Toussaint L'Ouverture - Leader of the Haitian Revolution

Toussaint L'ouverture: The Fight for Haiti's Freedom

By: Walter Dean Myers

(Grades 3-6) "In the late 1930s, Lawrence painted a series of pictures that documented the oppression of the Haitian people at the end of the 18th century and their eventual liberation in 1804."

Audio / Call to Action

The Emancipation Proclamation

A dramatic reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, which paved the way for the abolishment of slavery and served as a rallying point in the midst of the Civil War.

Ralph Ellison's INVISIBLE MAN

A reading from Ralph Ellison's INVISIBLE MAN

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

The song become one of the best known African American spirituals. It has been recorded by Paul Robeson to Johnny Cash, from Fats Waller to Eric Clapton.

The French Abolitionist and Feminist who spoke out about the Slave Trade

Olympe de Gouges (1748-1793)

By: Danny from Boca Raton

Olympe de Gouges was a French playwright, feminist and abolitionist. She was an outspoken critic of the slave trade in the French colonies.

English Abolitionists who fought to pass the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act of 1807

Granville Sharp the Abolitionist Rescuing a Slave from the Hands of His Master (1864)

By: James Hayllar

Granville Sharp came up with the plan to to resettle freed slaves in Sierra Leone in the mid-1780s. In 1787, he and Thomas Clarkson founded the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade.

William Wilberforce (1759-1833)

By: Nathan from Kunming, China

William Wilberforce was a leader of the English abolitionist movement that fought for the abolition of slavery until the passage of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act in 1807.

Juneteenth - A Letter From Roma, Texas

Produced by:Russell Skowronek, Christopher L. Miller

The film "Juneteenth" celebrates the emancipation of slaves residing in Texas.

Thomas Clarkson (1760-1846)

By: Staff Writer

A school essay changed his life: Thomas Clarkson devoted his life to abolishing the slave trade and saw the passage of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act of 1807 and Slavery Abolition Act in 1833.

Across the Atlantic: American Abolitionists

While the slave trade ended in the United States in 1808, the abolitionist struggle to end slavery outright continued until the US Civil War (1860-1865).

From Slavery to Speeches: Frederick Douglass

By: Sean Rollins

Frederick Douglass had a remarkable life: He was born into slavery but became a statesman. He was a powerful advocate for the Abolitionist and Suffragist movement and famous orator and writer.

Sojourner Truth

By: Libby Schwalbach
Sojourner Truth was a an abolitionist and women's rights activist who is known for her speech "Ain't I a Woman," delivered to the Ohio Women's Rights Convention.

Frances Ellen Watkins (1825-1911)

By: Geeta Malik

Frances Ellen Watkins was a prolific author and poet who devoted her life to speaking out against slavery.

Mary Richards Bowser (1846 – 1867)

By: Jane Wallace

An abolitionist and Union supporter, Mary Richards Bowser became a black spy in the Confederate White House of Jefferson Davis.

Escape from Slavery

The first-person accounts of escaped slaves helped the abolitionist cause. Here are two of the most famous:

Henry ''Box'' Brown

By: Franco from San Diego

Henry "Box" Brown mailed himself in a box to the office of abolitionist Quakers in the north to escape slavery. The trip took 27 hours.

Ellen Craft (1826–1891) and William Craft (1824 – 1900)

By: Shakir from Palm Coast, Florida

Ellen and William Craft, slaves in Macon, Georgia, disguised themselves as a white male plantation owner and his servant to escape. In 1860 they wrote Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom; Or, The Escape of William and Ellen Craft from Slavery.

Abolitionists from American History Celebrated by Artists

Robert Shetterly created the Amricans Who Tell the Truth portrait project and painted Sojourner Truth as part of his 200+ oil paintings.

Sojourner Truth
Credit: Robert Shetterly

Frederick Douglass is celebrated for his strength, courage and intelligence in this portrait by Robert Shetterly.

Frederick Douglass
Credit: Robert Shetterly

Harriet Tubman's portrait by Robert Shetterly from Americans Who Tell the Truth depicts her as a formidable opponent of slavery and an advocate to protect the enslaved

Harriet Tubman
Credit: Robert Shetterly


By: King & Baird
Thomas Nast's celebration of the emancipation of Southern slaves with the end of the Civil War

Doorway to Freedom

By: Cheikh Seck from Senegal

Memorializing the Slave Trade

Trey Carlisle, a reporter for MY HERO, brings the viewer up close to the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in this short film.

Remembering History: EJI's Legacy Museum & National Memorial for Peace and Justice

Produced by:MY HERO
MY HERO Reporter Trey Carlisle reports on the opening of the Equal Justice Initiative's National Memorial for Peace and Justice.


Stories from the Christian Science Monitor

The "X" mark signature of Isabella Van Wagenen, who became known as Sojourner Truth
Credit: Michael Hill/AP

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The Equal Justice Initiative

Gabriel Diamond

Bryan Stevenson and Equal Justice Initiative litigate cases for the unjustly imprisoned and work to reform the justice system. (4:47 minutes)

A Brave and Startling Truth

Produced by:United Nations
Maya Angelou reads her poem "A Brave and Startling Truth" which she wrote in commemoration of the UN's 50th Anniversary, in 1995.


By: Shannon Luders-Manuel
Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19th, thedateFederal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, and enforced the law ending slavery, which was mandated by the Emancipation Proclamation almost two years prior. Texas was the last state to uphold slavery, and it wasn't until June 19, 1865, that the final enslaved people there were granted their freedom.

Black History Month | Heroes in Music, Art, and Literature

By: MY HERO Staff
MY HERO Celebrates Black History Month. Learn about Heroes in Music, Art, and Literature.

Black History Month | Heroes in the Sciences

By: MY HERO Staff
MY HERO Celebrates African American Heroes in the Sciences

Our Curators


Short films curated by MY HERO International Film Festival director Wendy Milette


Hero Stories curated by MY HERO General Editors Deborah Neff and Abigail Richardson. 

Organizer created on 8/24/2013 7:57:31 AM by Becky Miller

Last edited 8/22/2022 12:41:58 PM by Abigail Richardson