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A special event for Black History Month: The Krios

30/10/2020 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


LIDC Communications Coordinator Charine John grew up in pre-civil war Sierra Leone, a time she describes as the happiest of her life. As a member of Sierra Leone’s small but influential Krio community, many of her childhood memories centre around celebratory events honouring ancestors who had escaped the brutality of trans-Atlantic slavery and subsequent destitution in North America and Britain, and come together to found a Province of Freedom on the Atlantic coast of Sierra Leone.


Watch a recording of the event here:


Later re-named Freetown, the first settlement of freed Africans in this area arrived from Britain in 1787. They were joined in 1792 by arrivals from Nova Scotia, Canada and later by Maroons from Jamaica in 1807 and finally by captured Africans – some from as far south as Angola – freed from ships attempting to continue the trade in African lives even after it was declared illegal by Britain.

Photo: Krio house

West African coast

The creole community that arose from escapees/freed slaves formed a unique and dynamic society. Now referring to themselves by the Africanised term ‘Krio’ they can be found along the coast of West Africa. In Nigeria, they are known as ‘Saro,’ in Gambia they are called ‘Aku’ (also the term commonly used to refer to Muslim Krios in Sierra Leone) and the Krio language is spoken in Cameroon. They are directly related to the Gullah of Florida.

 Recounting stories of heroic survival

This Black History Month, we invite you to join Charine as she recounts stories of the heroic survival against the odds of her forebears. Learn of contributions that Krios have made and continue to make towards the advancement of African people – from the composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor to the actor Idris Elba.



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