Cover image: Understanding Slavery Initiative


Understanding Slavery Initiative

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The Understanding Slavery initiative (USI) is a national learning project which uses museum and heritage collections to support teaching and learning about transatlantic slavery and its legacies. Through this website six museums across the UK are working in partnership to share expertise, develop resources, training opportunities and school sessions. The materials on the website are mainly suitable for Key Stage 3 (ages 11-14) and above, although there are also some activities for primary pupils. The main themes covered are:
  • Europe before transatlantic slavery
  • Africa before transatlantic enslavement
  • Trade & commerce
  • Atlantic crossing
  • Plantation life
  • Resistance & rebellion
  • The campaign for abolition
  • Emancipation
  • Legacies
  • Diaspora
Materials include activities, artefacts from collections, lesson plans, interactive animations, sound and video files. There is also extensive background information and advice for teachers on teaching about this potentially sensitive topic; as well as 'help from historians' in the form of short video tutorials.

Resource contents


Equality, Social Justice

Age Ranges

KS3: ages 11-14, KS4: ages 14-16



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