A Glossary of Terminology for Understanding Transatlantic Slavery and ‘Race’

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About this resource

Holding its ethnic diversity as vitally important, Nottingham has been a particularly active hotspot for a variety of anti-racist activity. It was a prominent location of Britain’s BLM movement with the first BLM chapter in the country being founded in the city in 2015. Subsequent to killing of George Floyd and protests over the country’s commemorative colonial iconography, many of its local schools, which are attended by a range of pupils from multicultural backgrounds, have expressed a strong desire for more racially sensitive approaches to teaching Britain’s involvement in the transatlantic slave economy and the legacy of racism.

Primary and secondary level teachers have articulated specific concerns over the appropriate use of terminology, so that important, respectful and non-offensive conversations, that promote understanding and social cohesion, can take place amongst their pupils.

Approached by numerous educators across the county of Nottinghamshire, researchers at the University of Nottingham (UoN) have worked in unison with them to produce a series of culturally sensitive anti-racist educational materials. Composed within the context of transatlantic slavery and racism, these resources are orientated towards the inequalities that are experienced by people of African and African-Caribbean heritage.

The designers of these materials acknowledge racism as affecting all ethnically diverse communities and hope, in a later phase of this work, to expand the scope of these – particularly the glossary – to include other ethnic groups.

Due to the sensitive nature of this topic and racially-sensitive terminologies contained in some of the quotations, teachers should exercise caution when relaying this information to students. Care has been taken to include only those which are necessary for the purpose of explaining slavery and race’. Please refer to the glossary for an explanation of these. For a version that contains all terms, which includes the most sensitive, these can be requested by email from our learning & education team at access.artefacts@nottinghamcity.gov.uk.

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Many thanks to the University of Nottingham for access to these resources.

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