Pupils will find that this example of a black slave, painted out of an eighteenth century painting of a tobacco lord’s family, makes an intriguing starter to any lesson on the slave trade. They will enjoy ‘finding’ him in the portrait, thanks to 21st century technology. But will they be able to work out why he was ‘painted out’. They have a chance to play ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ to find out. This is a really interesting example of attitudes to slavery in Britain at different times in the past, but can only be fully understood when the historical context is taken into account. When exactly was the painting produced and then changed, in relation to developments in the abolition of the slave trade.
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