The Sam Sharpe Lecture 2020
‘Man against the System’
This year's Sam Sharpe lecture was delivered by Bishop Wilton Powell, OBE
- Former National Presiding Bishop of the Church of God of Prophecy.
On 25 March 1807, the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act entered the statute books. Yet centuries before the passing of this Act Black bodies were rendered insubstantial and insignificant under British law.
How on earth did Sam Sharpe , an enslaved Jamaican Baptist Deacon, help to dismantle an oppressive system endorsed by Queen and country, and overturn laws that sought to dehumanise black lives?
In the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, examining matters around protest or silence, oppression or liberation, have become all-important issues. These topics have been forced from the background into the foreground.
Bishop Wilton Powell explored in this year’s Sam Sharpe lecture: ‘Man against the System’. In so doing, the Bishop grappled with one of black history's perennial questions; how did this enslaved Baptist deacon upset the status quo and usher in a semblance of hope for the global black family?
It was delivered as a webinar on Monday 12 October
The Moderator was Dr Dulcie McKenzie. Other contributors were Sam Sharpe partners Rosemarie Davidson-Gotobed and the Revd Karl Johnson (Jamaica Baptist Union).
Watch the video of this year's lecture below.