A Petition to Establish the ‘Museum of Black Heritage' in Glasgow, Scotland

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A Petition to Establish the ‘Museum of Black Heritage’ at the site of the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow

We would like to petition Glasgow City Council to lead the country in a project that will change the outlook of the people of Glasgow and Britain for generations to come.

The Black Lives Matter campaign has resonated so strongly with the people of Glasgow, such that both Black and Non-Black residents have stood side by side either physically or virtually to condemn the systemic racism that has oppressed Black people up to this very day.

The legacy of the names that proudly own the streets of our city have come to light and we have started to understand the real heritage of the buildings that we love. Finally the truth about Glasgow’s history has presented itself to the general public and we now understand that Glasgow was not only a key player in the ‘tobacco industry’, but in fact a culprit in the oppression and murder of Africans which continued from the time of the transatlantic slave trade to the recent history of colonialism in Africa.

We do not want this new found enlightenment to fade as easily as it has in the past. This is not just a hashtag that can be replaced by the next issue that comes along. This is the everlasting history of our ancestors that we cannot forget, because the consequences of it are still poignant today and affects every single one of us. It was only five years ago that our tax payers money was still being used to repay the huge government debt that was a result of compensation given to slave owners when slavery was abolished. Then you have the lived experience of Black people in this country with the profound systemic racism that affects them in all aspects of their life; whether it is occupational, educational or in health – which only recently is being acknowledged by research and studies.

We believe that with a true understanding of where we have come from, can we truly change for the better. We do not want to make the same mistakes of our ancestors and continue the dehumanisation of a race just because of the melanin in their skin. We should not hear the words ‘go back to Africa’ when there is a true understanding of the intertwined history we have with the continent. It is also important to recognise the African experience and walk in their shoes through history, not only seeing the hard times but also the great civilisations and individuals that changed the world for the better. Sadly, even for African people the knowledge of their great history has been concealed through the destruction and theft of historical artefacts as well as enforced miseducation from colonial times to this very day.

Therefore, we propose that we create the first permanent museum and exhibition in the history of Scotland, that not only focuses on the slave trade, but to the significant contributions of Black Innovators and artists that have shaped the world we live in today. The museum will be dedicated to raising the status of Black people in this country and beyond and is essential not only for Black people but for our entire nation regardless of race, class or religion. This will be an eternal celebration of a people that we once stepped on to lift ourselves to greatness.

We propose that we locate this museum in the centre of Glasgow, in the very house of one of the key benefactors of the slave trade, using a mansion that was built on the degradation of Black people to now lift them up and recognise them equally. There is so much more to be done, but we believe this will become the epicentre of change that will ripple through the streets of Glasgow, the UK and the world.

Please help us by signing this petition and sharing it widely.

Dr Amani Mugasa and Art Curator Eunice Olumide

In collaboration with African Caribbean Cultures Glasgow