Fri, 05/13/2011 - 05:12 By Fambul Tik
The Bunce Island Coalition

The Bunce Island Coalition is made up of three groups working together -- the Bunce Island Coalition (US), Bunce Island Coalition (SL), and Bunce Island Coalition (UK).

The Bunce Island Coalition (US) was formed in 2007, with the goal of raising funds for the preservation of the British slave castle through a publicity campaign.  In 2010 private donors came forward with a pledge of $5 million
for the preservation of the castle and the construction of a museum on its history in Freetown.

The US group is led by former U.S. Ambassador Thomas Hull as Chairman of the Board, and Joseph Opala as Director.  Opala, an historian who has been studying Bunce Island for more than thirty years, is serving as the project
Coordinator in Sierra Leone.

The Bunce Island Coalition (SL) was formed in 2010 to work hand-in-hand with the US group to preserve Bunce Island. The Sierra Leone group is led by Manilius Garber and Julius Spencer.

Another group, the Bunce Island Coalition (UK), was also formed in 2007. Led by Sir Roland Jackson, a scientist and science educator, the UK group recently made arrangements for Kew Gardens, the famous botanical research
centre in Great Britain, to send one of its top scientists to conduct a botanical survey of Bunce Island.

BIC members believe that the preservation of Bunce Island will create a new industry in Sierra Leone -- African American heritage tourism. Bunce Island is the only slave castle in West Africa that sent a significant portion of its captives to the North American Colonies.  Bunce Island, therefore, has a unique significance for African Americans.