Black Lives Matter Protest in the Isle of Man

Listen to the stories from Manx National Heritage on the process of preserving placards from the 2020 movement

BLM Protesters, Isle of Man 2020 by unknownManx National Heritage

Island Solidarity

Despite the two month Island lock-down and Government imposed social distancing guidelines, over 1,000 members of the Island’s community showed solidarity by attending the Black Lives Matter protest in Douglas on 9 June 2020.

BLM Protesters, Isle of Man 2020 by unknownManx National Heritage

Awareness Raising

Organiser Benard Mensah said it ‘burst’ the idea the Island was racism-free and hoped it would start an open discussion. The Island’s Chief Constable said protesting was ‘a fundamental human right’ and we have to show that 'enough is enough'. This was history in the making.

Nicola Tooms, Assistant Curator, Manx National Heritage by Anthea YoungManx National Heritage

Nicola (Assistant Curator, Manx National Heritage)
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Collecting for the future

Rapid Response Collecting has expanded significantly in recent years as museums gather contemporary material evidence for the future. The Black Lives Matter protest in the Isle of Man gave us the opportunity to record the Island’s response to a global movement.

Emma Le Cornu, Conservator, Manx National Heritage by unknownManx National Heritage

Emma (Conservator, Library and Archives, Manx National Heritage)
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Conservation challenges

The objects collected came with their material challenges. Conservation of objects increases the stability or durability of an object. Conservation and preservation aims to decrease the rate of deterioration and increase the longevity of an object for future research. 

BLM Protest Flier, Isle of Man 2020 by unknownManx National Heritage

Vinci (The Hardy Commission)
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The Hardy Commission

The Hardy Commission challenges racism ‘and the hateful ideologies it thrives upon by imploring our leaders to take action’. Manx National Heritage is keen to reflect the important work the Commission is doing in the Isle of Man in the nation's collections.

Protest sign from Black Lives Matter demonstration on Douglas Promenade, 9 June 2020 (2020)Manx National Heritage

Ending racism in museums

As well as collecting, Manx National Heritage as an Accredited Museum supports the UK Museums Association joint statement to end racism in the heritage sector.

Read the Joint Statement

BLM Protesters, Isle of Man 2020, unknown, From the collection of: Manx National Heritage
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BLM Protesters, Isle of Man 2020, unknown, From the collection of: Manx National Heritage
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BLM Protesters, Isle of Man 2020, unknown, From the collection of: Manx National Heritage
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BLM Protesters, Isle of Man 2020 by unknownManx National Heritage

"We will be telling the story of the time our little island stood to make a difference in such a big world for a long time...We have to change and show people that it’s not ok to be ignorant to the racism that is happening here. As a community we can fight and show racists that it is they who are unwelcome in our home on the Isle of Man."  (Olivia Toombs, Neve Johnstone and Elisha Harvey, BLM Protesters)

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The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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