Replace statue of slave-trader Edward Colston with abolitionist Hannah More

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Recently in Bristol, as a part of the BLM protests across the United Kingdom, a notoriously controversial statue of slave trader Edward Colston was torn down and thrown into the sea. Edward Colston has been commemorated in many ways throughout Bristol, from street names to landmarks such as Colston Tower and Colston Hall, it is a stain on the beautiful city.

He was involved in the brutal transportation of approximately 84,000 enslaved African men, women and young children, of whom 19,000 died horribly on voyages from West Africa to the Caribbean and the Americas.

Hannah More, who I am proposing this statue is replaced with, is one of the great female poets of the early 1800’s. Born in Bristol, she wrote a great many plays and poems, and was a leading member of the great Bluestocking group of female intellectuals. She championed numerous political causes, and specifically supported abolition of the slave trade as a moral issue, and fought against the horrifying treatment of Africans.

I believe that the Bristol City Council should commission a statue of Hannah More to replace Edward Colston, it would send the right message of tolerance and solidarity to the Black British people living in Bristol, as well as showcasing an important figure in Bristol’s rich cultural and political history.

There is a lot of work to do to erase the impact of slavery on Bristol, this would be one step in the right direction.