Leading Christians, including Rev Joel Edwards, Bishop Joel Aldred and David Lammy, were present at the official launch of the Sam Sharpe Project, held at the Jamaican High Commission.
This exciting new initiative aims to promote the legacy of Sam Sharpe, which is characterised by freedom, liberation and justice, and encourage Baptist colleges and churches to engage more seriously with Black and Asian culture.
Keep The Faith columnist, Rev Wale Hudson-Roberts, who serves as the Racial Justice Officer for the Baptist Union of Great Britain (BUGB), has been a key driver of this Project. He stated, “This initiative, which builds on the work already begun on the history and lessons for today of the Sam Sharpe story, offers the possibility of bringing our current BUGB life into creative dialogue with the legacy of Sam Sharpe, and with the everyday experiences of our BME Baptist members.”
Sam Sharpe is considered a Jamaican hero. Born in 1801, he became a Christian and Baptist deacon, and was inspired by the Bible to speak out against slavery.
In 1831, Sharpe led a general strike which was meant to be peaceful. When the authorities heard about it, they armed themselves to fight what they perceived as an uprising. The planned peaceful protest turned into a rebellion, which caused the death of 186 slaves and 14 plantation owners and overseers. Sam Sharpe was eventually arrested and hanged.
This Project will promote Sharpe’s legacy with various initiatives, which include an annual lecture; the creation of educational resource material for children and study groups; a website and a conference.
It is Rev Hudson-Roberts hope that the Project will inspire a new generation of Baptist leaders from the BME community, and encourage Baptist churches and educational establishments to engage more seriously with BME culture, history and theology.
For more details, visit www.samsharpeproject.org