Slave Auction 2017


We are partnering with Black Lives Matter of Greater NYC to host a slave auction to reiterate the fact that Columbus entered the Americas with the intent of enslaving its inhabitants for the economic benefit of the Spanish crown. It was only after his men realized that their slaves were not resistant to European diseases did they decide to use forced labor from West Africa.  Overall, the Columbian slave trade catalyzed a trend of European invasion into the lands of present day North and South America. The devastating impact of the aforementioned invasion is one of the primary aspects that are overlooked in contemporary Eurocentric education.  Overall, the European colonization of the Americas resulted in the death of 80-100 million indigenous people.  Furthermore, 12.5 million slaves were shipped from West Africas to the Americas with 10.7 million surviving the treacherous voyage.  

We will have a procession of slaves in shackles led by a slave master in 15th and 16th century attire.  The slaves will be led to Herald Square where they will be presented.  The auctioneer will pass out information with the slaves’ “new names”, height, weight and distinct physical features. The buyers will open their mouths, ask them to spin around, and truly inspect them like an object.  The auction will juxtapose 'old school' slavery with 'new age' slavery.  We are acknowledging the fact that mass incarceration in the United States is the new manifestation of slavery for people of color.  In addition to the procession of slaves, we will have people of color marching in prison uniforms and handcuffs.

We will have a series of spoken word and hip hop performances that chronicle the past and current plight of people of color.  Afterward we will have a few special guests share their thoughts on colonialism, white supremacy and how these systems of oppression its effects pervade throughout multiple aspects of the lives of communities of color.  While the performances/speeches are going on, our artists will display different visual art that will cover elements of oppression, resistance and triumph experienced by marginalized communities. As the performances and speeches are happening,  Movers & Shakers’ organizers will be disseminating information about the group, our intentions, and our team’s research from interviews with professors and community organizations.

The next component of the program will be the Die-In. We will have people of color lie down for 5-10 minutes to commemorate the 80 to 100 million indigenous lives that were lost to European colonialism. This section will be completely silent.

The last portion of the event will be a series of speeches from community leaders and a call to action from Movers & Shakers Founder, CEO Glenn Cantave and Hawk Newsome, President of Black Lives Matter NYC to demand that Mayor Di Blasio's monument reviewing committee add Columbus Circle to the list of statues to be removed.