Perspective - How Bristol became a musical and artistic melting pot


(James Higginson) #1

(Jane Williamson) #2

I listened to this because I wanted to hear what she had to say about the debate that is going on in Bristol at the moment about renaming anything to do with Colston, who was a great benefactor to Bristol, but who made his money through trading with the USA in tobacco and the Caribbean in sugar.
At that time the triangular trading route also included the slave trade and there is a very vocal group of people who have managed to get the Colston Halls, the largest artistic venue in Bristol and which is going through major renovation, renamed.
This is altering history. Keeping the name and putting an explanation of how Colston’s money was made was not enough, so he is to be whitewashed from the face of Bristol.
Although the interview mentioned slavery, there was no reference to what is going on in Bristol.
Slavery was an abomination, but trying to efface the history of a great trading city is not the way to go about keeping people aware of their past and trying to do better in the future.