This year has marked the 50th Anniversary since Martin Luther King Jr received his honorary degree from Newcastle University. The year is being celebrated by a series of events across Newcastle as part of the Freedom City 2017 initiative.
These events are aimed to inspire academic debates, produce internationally renowned work and generate conversations between all generations, ethnicities and religions, tackling the problems Martin Luther King Jr highlighted in his 1967 speech to Newcastle University: poverty, war and racism. The latest scheme as part of Freedom City 2017, is ‘Freedom City Comics:’ a comic series celebrating the diverse figures from the North East who participated in everyday struggles for freedom.
The new comics chronicle the stories of radicals like suffragette Emily Davison, Joseph Cowen and Olaudah Equiano who have visited or fought for social justice in the North East.
One such story documented in the new comic is that of Equiano: once a slave, he became a fierce supporter for the abolition of slavery, coming to Newcastle to address crowds in Bigg Market as part of his anti-slavery tour around Britain.
The comics provide a seven-part anthology produced by Newcastle University’s Humanities Research Institute. Each chapter marks a period in the North-East’s History of civil-rights and social justice, all interconnected through the idea of freedom.
The stories themselves are founded on research by academics from both Newcastle and Northumbria University who worked in partnership with artists and writers to produce the cartoons.
Comics are an imaginative way to make information more accessible to a wider audience and help them connect to the history of where they live.
Editor in Chief of the Freedom City Comics Lydia Wysocki believes “Comics are an imaginative way to make information more accessible to a wider audience and help them connect to the history of where they live”
The comics are suitable for people of all ages, highlighting aspects of Newcastle’s history in the national and global movement for equality and human rights that may not have previously been known.
The comic will be distributed for free at locations across the city, and around the Newcastle University campus. Alternatively, you can visit the Freedom City Comics webpage to view the digital version.