Birmingham City Council

A Shared History, A Shared Future: Medallions and Jewellery

Shared History Shared Future
A Shared History, A Shared Futurecelebrates 200 years since the abolition of the slave trade.
Community based groups have been exploring the ways in which slavery in all its forms throughout history has operated, and how it relates to our lives in Birmingham.

Medallions and Jewellery

The white band has become a common symbol of the global fight to end poverty. It was agreed as a worldwide symbol by the Global Call to Action Against Poverty,the world's largest ever anti-poverty movement with organisations representing more than 150 million people in over 10 countries.

The white band was the symbol of MAKE POVERTY HISTORY in 2005, when 8 million people wore the white band in the UK. Bands, badges, jewellery and other symbols have been used throughout history in protest campaigns to end slavery, debt and poverty, including the Wedgwood Cameo.


 AM I NOT A WOMAN & A SISTER 1838. AM I NOT A MAN AND A BROTHER

Wedgwood sent a large number of cameos to Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia who also remarked on the value of the medallion as a means of bringing awareness of the existence of slavery to the public.

Wedgwood had become acquainted with Franklin through his association with the Lunar Society and the two men had much in common. Franklin was particularly interested in the art of pottery and his appreciation of Wedgwood art is seen from his reply to Josiah on receipt of the gift of slave medallions. He writes: 'I am distributing your valuable present of cameos among my friends... I am persuaded it may have an effect equal to that of the best written pamphlet in procuring honour to those oppressed people' Excerpt The Wedgwood Review, courtesy of the Wedgwood Museum, Stoke-on-Trent.


Find out about the projects under the A Shared History, A Shared Future banner.


A Shared History, A Shared Future
Breaking the Chains 2007