Black Plaques of Unauthorised Heritage

  • Opal Turner
  • Luke Lasenby

The only project we were happy to not see go live. Amazingly before we were able to move the project forward, admissions of their links and more importantly financial commitments have been made by some of the following institutions. We hope to see all major institutions follow suit. Inspired by Will Coles (@mrwillcoles) incredible 'Unauthorised Heritage' plaque in Bristol we proposed making a new series in partnership with him. The series would pull together the disparate information on the British Slave Trades impact on our economy to this day, and push for reparations. 3 Plaques pick out key pieces of the connection. Firstly highlighting the amount the UK government ended up paying back to slave owners until 2015 - £16.5 Billion in modern pounds. Yet (at the time) no monetary commitment had been made to black people. Followed by the fact our 4 major banks, still accounting for 77% of uk current accounts, all have historic links to slavery, yet they had not (at the time) made any monetary commitment to black people. Lastly the fact that at its peak, 11% of the UK economy output was from the slave trade industry. We cannot ignore the positive economic impact this had on building the foundations of our successful economy. Yet the wealth gap between Black and White British people is an outrageous 90%. Yet (at the time) no monetary commitment had been made to black people from UK economic institutions. We had planned to install these plaques - Unauthorised - onto the central offices of the 4 major banks and in Canary Wharf.