Who is Edward Colston,the racist Bristol slave trader who's statue was pulled down by black lives matter protesters?Colston was born into a prosperous Bristol merchant’s family,in
Bristol on 2nd November 1636.He died 11th October 1721 in London.
Colston who was involved in the trafficking of tens of thousands of black slaves, was educated in London and joined the Mercers’ Company in 1673, where he traded in woollen textiles and wine.
The shocking thing about the English slave trader is,despite his past and the evil transgressions which he clearly participated in,he is still revered in Bristol.His statue was still clearly in the centre of the town portrayed like a hero,his name on many buildings,memorials and streets.Could this be because Colston supported and endowed schools, almshouses, hospitals and churches in Bristol, London and elsewhere?Edward Colston was also a merchant, philanthropist, and Member of Parliament.
But Colston was not the only one who was involved in slave trade in his family.His father and brother also were stake holders.His brother Thomas supplied beads that were used to buy slaves, and his father William owned shares.
The slaves were treated like cattle.They had to succumb to such inhumane conditions like being branded on their chests with the RAC initials.It was also a regular thing for many slaves to die and be tossed overboard into the sea while being shipped to America,due to the unhygienic and cramped conditions on the trips which took 6 to 8 weeks.
According to historian David Olusoga,“This is a city that is about 14% BAME with a statue of somebody who was not just a slave trader, he was involved in the Royal Africa Company, the company that trafficked more people into slavery than any in British history,” he told BBC News.