In connection with the so-called fight against racism, unleashed by the Black Lives Matter movement, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has decided to declare a major audit of the names of statues, streets, and buildings in the country. The goal is to examine and reveal how colonialism and slavery reflect in names throughout the state. Drakeford’s cabinet announced it on its website.
The review process will be led by Gaynor Legall, a well-known Welsh women’s rights activist for various minorities. A group of experts on slavery, the history of the British Empire, and the history of Black communities in Wales will assist her on this task.
“The Black Lives Matter movement has brought to the fore a number of important issues we need to address as a country. One is the need for Wales to reflect on the visible reminders of the country’s past. This is especially true when we look at the horrors of the slave trade,“ stated First Minister Mark Drakeford.
According to him, some buildings make heroes out of people whose actions are now condemned by the Welsh. They are thus reminders of the past, which no one has addressed yet, but should do so, argued the first minister.
“It’s not about rewriting the past, it’s about fairly reflecting on it, as it deserves. If we do it right, we can learn from our history and build a closer relationship with it. We can discover new stories and personalities to celebrate,“ said Drakeford, adding that this is something the past deserves and the present desires.
In addition to the planned audit, education will also undergo several changes. Minister Kirsty Williams announced that gaps would be sought in the education system when it comes to informing about so-called BAME communities (Germans, Asians, and minority ethnic groups).
Title image: First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford speaks to the media after a meeting at 10 Downing Street, in London, Wednesday Dec. 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)