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Songs of Praise

Remembering Black History

Duration: 34 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC One LondonLatest broadcast: on BBC One Wales

For Black History Month, guest presenter Mark De-Lisser visits the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool. He meets the director, Dr Richard Benjamin, to find out about Britain’s involvement in the slave trade and the role the church played at the time. Mark meets the museum’s historian-in-residence, Laurence Westgaph, to hear about his ambition to create what could become the country’s first memorial to the enslaved. The rector of Liverpool, Rev Canon Dr Crispin Pailing, shares why he is passionate about offering the grounds of St Nicholas’ Church, which was once the city’s main burial ground, as a home for the memorial.

Classical pianist Alexis Ffrench tells YolanDa Brown about his love of music and how he felt as a child being Britain’s youngest black church organist. We also have a special performance of Alexis’s own composition inspired by the faith poem Footprints in the Sand. The daughter of Christian peacemaker Nelson Mandela shares what she feels her father would have thought about the Liverpool garden being built in his honour, and we hear about the vision for the garden from two members of the community, Sonia Bassey and Stephen Nze, who help run the charity behind the project, Mandela8.

Music comes from across the UK, including poignant hymns written during the period of the slave trade:

You’ll Never Walk Alone – Tessera
For the Healing of the Nations – Christ Church, Birkenhead, October 2018
Great Is Thy Faithfulness – Vocal Creation, St Andrew’s Plymouth
Footprints in the Sand – Alexis Ffrench
Wade in the Water – Stellina
Amazing Grace – Warwick Road United Reformed Church, May 2019
Change – Bright City
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Mark De-Lisser
YolanDa Brown
Executive Producer:
Cat Lewis
Executive Producer:
Emyr Afan
Series Producer:
Matthew Napier
Jessie Bland
Production Company:
Avanti Media

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