Blog Post

Bunce Island: Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition

August 23 marks the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition. On this occasion, we invite you to discover one of WMF’s most powerful historic sites, Bunce Island, through the eyes of Project Manager Isatu Smith. 

Located in Sierra Leone and home to one of the most lucrative slave trading operations in West Africa, the Bunce Island fortified trading post served as a cross-over point for thousands of enslaved West African sold to colonies in the West Indies and North America. The island is testimony to a transformative and traumatic period in history, and remains as a standing monument to Africa’s intersection with the U.S. and the wider Atlantic world.

Bunce Island was included on the 2016 World Monuments Watch in recognition of the site's historic and social significance, transcending national and regional boundaries. 

In the short video interview below, Isatu Smith speaks about the history of the site and the importance of its preservation “as a memorial to the dark history of man’s inhumanity to man”.