Wes Talks Digital Download – How did John Wesley speak out against the slave trade?
New Room historian Gary Best, author of the new book ‘Slavery and Bristol‘ talks about his book and sharing in conversation with Revd Dr Catherine Okoronkwo (Bishop’s Advisor on Racial Justice, Diocese of Bristol) and Dr Madge Dresser (Honorary Professor in Historical Studies, University of Bristol).
Organised in conjunction with the Methodist Church’s Learning Network South West.
Recorded February 2021. Running time: 1 hr.
Please note, you will be emailed a link to view the recording once payment has been processed – there may be a delay from purchase confirmation to receiving the link.
Panel – Full Biographies and links to publications:
Gary Best is the New Room’s Historical Consultant and was instrumental in creating the site’s new visitor centre and the award-winning museum. He taught history for many years and has written widely on Methodist topics, including ground-breaking biographies of Charles Wesley, Grace Murray and John Cennick, and a history of the New Room, entitled The Cradle of Methodism. He is also the author of Slavery and Bristol, which explores Bristol’s role in the trading of enslaved people. The book looks at the injustice of the slave trade through the experiences of John Wesley and the first-hand account of Olaudah Equiano, who was enslaved as a child and later became the founder of the Sons of Africa, the first black African organisation dedicated to campaigning against slavery. The book was selected as a Five Books Top Non-Fiction book of 2020.
Revd Dr Catherine Okoronkwo (Cathy) grew up in the Middle East and studied in the USA and UK. She previously worked as an English teacher for almost a decade, and now works as a writer and Church of England priest. She is the Bishop’s Advisor on Racial Justice for the Diocese of Bristol, committed to supporting racial justice for the city, challenging racism in the Church and supporting and developing Black and minority ethnic clergy.
In addition to multiple micro-fictions and her novel Purple Lilac, Catherine has contributed a chapter to the edition of Unsung Sheroes in the Church: Singing the Praises of Black Women Now titled ‘Black. African. Woman. Christian. And living with HIV in Britain – A discourse on spirituality, faith and the Church’. Her poem, ‘Rage Rises’, features in the anthology ‘Black Lives Matter: Poems for a New World.’ Her latest publication, ‘Blood and Water’ has been described as “an unflinching look at life rooted in a West African childhood and embracing urban England…”
Blood and Water / ọbara na mmiri is available to purchase from Waterloo Press. Cathy’s poem Rage Rises is published in the poetry anthology Black Lives Matter: Poems for a New World by Ambrose Musiyiwa.
Dr Madge Dresser is an Honorary Professor in the department of Historical Studies at the University of Bristol. She has published widely on subjects such as Atlantic slavery and its legacy in Britain, on British slavery and the country house, and on religious and gender history in Britain.
Her publications include Slavery Obscured: the Social History of the Slave Trade in Bristol and Ethnic Minorities and the City: Bristol 1000-2000 written with Peter Fleming. She has featured on numerous programmes including BBC Radio 4’s ‘Open Country’,‘Archive on 4’ and MBC’s ‘Sugar and Empire’, and spoken at Tate Britain, the Royal Oak Foundation in the USA, and recently delivered a TedxBristol talk on Slavery and Statues. She has also coordinated 40 events in Bristol on social justice stories past and present for the national charity Journey to Justice.
Slavery Obscured: the Social History of the Slave Trade in Bristol and Ethnic Minorities and the City: Bristol 1000-2000 is available to purchase from Bloomsbury Press.