London, Sugar & Slavery Gallery
Museum in Docklands’ new gallery, London, Sugar & Slavery, reveals how London’s involvement in slavery has shaped the capital since the 17th century, and challenges what you think you know about the transatlantic slave trade.
Key artefacts in the new gallery, recently acquired by the Museum, are the surviving papers of Thomas and John Mills, who owned plantations in St Kitts and Nevis, providing us with glimpses into the lives of both the enslaved and the slaver.
In the gallery you can experience an immersive sound and light show which is projected on the gallery walls every 20 minutes. The experience encourages you to consider enslavement and freedom both in terms of the transatlantic slave trade and what they mean for us all today.
Sugar cane originated in New Guinea and it is thought to have been introduced to South America by Columbus. As late as the 1600s it was regarded as a luxury commodity in Europe only available to the wealthy. But in the 1700s drinking coffee became increasingly popular and the demand for sugar increased.