An exhibition shining a light on the history of ‘taking the knee’ launches today, with the help of the University of Hull.
The exhibition is part of ongoing community engagement work between the University of Hull’s Wilberforce Institute for Slavery and Emancipation, Hull Museums, and people from racially marginalised communities, in the city.
According to Senior Lecturer in Diaspora History, Dr Nick Evans, of the Wilberforce Institute, the launch of the exhibition is timely as Home Secretary Suella Braverman, this week announced her review ‘into activism and impartiality’ within police forces – which will include an evaluation of officers taking the knee.
Dr Evans said: “Taking the knee has a history dating back millennia, it is only in more recent centuries that the pose has taken on more political connotations. It was in the 1780s that it was first politicised in a way that we can understand today, when images of an enslaved man kneeling, were used by those campaigning for the abolition of the British slave trade.
“The opening of this exhibition, which is co-created with members of racially marginalised communities, couldn’t be more timely, as public discourse about the gesture continues because of the Home Secretary’s review into policing, and her letter to policing leaders which set out her expectation that the police should focus on tackling crime, rather than being involved in political matters.”
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