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London home of couple who escaped slavery in US gets blue plaque

blue plaque

London home of couple who escaped slavery in US gets blue plaque

The London home of slave abolitionists who fled to Britain from the US after escaping slavery in Georgia is to be commemorated in a blue plaque.

Ellen and William Craft are famed for carrying out one of the most ingenious documented escapes in the history of American slavery.

In December 1848, Ellen, the child of a mixed-race slave raped by her white owner, dressed up as a disabled white man and left Georgia, with William posing as an enslaved manservant accompanying his master north for medical treatment.

Stopping first in Philadelphia, then Massachusetts, they were forced to escape the country altogether after Congress passed the fugitive slave bill in 1850, forbidding inhabitants of the “free states” from sheltering formerly enslaved people.

Fearing abduction by the agents of their former enslavers, the Crafts then boarded a ship and made the four-day voyage to England.

They settled in Hammersmith, helping to organise the London Emancipation Society. In 1860, after travelling the UK arguing for freedom for black people and thrilling abolitionist lecture halls with the story of their escape, they published their autobiography, Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom.

A blue plaque commemorating the home in west London where they raised a family and campaigned for social justice has been placed on 26 Cambridge Grove, a mid-Victorian house.

The plaque was proposed by Dr Hannah-Rose Murray, a historian who works on transatlantic abolitionism.

Ellen and William Craft were courageous and heroic freedom fighters whose daring escape from US chattel slavery involved Ellen crossing racial, gender and class lines to perform as a white southern man,” Murray said.

“I’m so excited that English Heritage has built on previous work by historians, archivists and local activists to honour their presence in Hammersmith and the UK in general, and recognise the Crafts’ incredible bravery and impact on transatlantic society.”

English Heritage said only about 4% of the more than 975 blue plaques across London were dedicated to black and Asian people, but that it was working hard to rectify the lack of representation. Over the past two years, a quarter of English Heritage plaques have commemorated black or Asian figures.

“Ellen and William Craft’s story is incredibly powerful,” said Anna Eavis, curatorial director at English Heritage. “They are an important part of the anti-slavery movement and we are delighted to remember them with this plaque.”

After the US civil war and the legal emancipation of black people across the country, the Crafts returned, arriving in Boston in 1869 with three children. In 1873, they set up the Woodville Cooperative Farm School in Bryan County, Georgia, for the children of emancipated slaves.

Ellen is believed to have died in Georgia in 1891. William died in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1900, and was buried in the city.

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Sammie Okposo For Burial December 15

The funeral arrangements for gospel singer, Sammie Okposo, have been released by his family.

The singer died in November 25 aged 51.

The family stated that a tribute night will be held for him on Tuesday, December 13 in Lagos State, followed by a service of songs on Wednesday.

The funeral service for Okposo will take place on December 15 and will be private affair.

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Defend Your Votes At Polling Units- Charly Boy Urges Youths

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“I have told them that the salvation of any country lies in the hands of the exceptional people; these people are the great Nigerian youths.

“They already know their rights, but my call to them is that they should stand and defend those right at the polling boots.

“However, the opposition wants to do it, I know that the boys are ready to give them back what they get. I don’t have chills in that area; all I can do is wish them well and pray for their safety.

“Nigeria is getting dangerous for my liking, and because of years of disunity and inaction, there are some sacrifices that need to be made and we are going to make these sacrifice,” Charly Boy said.

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Burna Boy Wins Big At 2022 MOBO Awards

Famous Nigerian singer and record producer, Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, popularly known as Burna Boy, has won two categories of the 2022 Music Of Black Origin (MOBO) awards.

The two categories awards were the Best International Act and the Best African Act.

The award event, which recognises the best black music, was held on Wednesday in London, at Wembley Arena.

The singer was nominated in the Best International Act category alongside Chris Brown, Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar, Jack Harlow, Drake, Summer Walker and Nigerian fast-rising global act, Tems.

Burna also won the Best African Act, beating Asake, Rema, Fireboy, and Omah Lay.

This brings the singer’s MOBO award wins to a total of three following his 2021 win as the Best International Act.

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