British ITV Network to Air Documentary about Jamaican Mary Seacole

Mary Seacole

ITV, a British broadcasting network, will air a documentary on October 18th, 2016, about Jamaican Mary Seacole, who is the first black woman to be honored with a statue in the United Kingdom. Mary Seacole was honored with the statue for her work as a nurse during the Crimean War in the 19th century. Created by Martin Jennings, the statue includes a disc based on images from the Crimea at the site of Seacole’s British Hotel, where she cared for and supported soldiers during the war. The commemorative statue is located across from the Houses of Parliament on the South Bank in London. The total cost of the statue was paid through donations from individuals and a number of larger donors. Its installation was funded via a government grant from banking fines. The documentary, entitled “In the Shadow of Mary Seacole,” features the personal, three-year-long journey of David Harewood, the star of “The Night Manager” and “Homeland,” as he travels across the UK, Jamaica and Crimea after the creation of the Seacole statue. The documentary was praised by Lord Soley, the chairperson of the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal (MSMSA). He also said that the statue represents a “wonderful example of crowdfunding, as many diverse communities, including trade unions, the military, nurses, celebrities, and many other individuals contributed to the effort to ensure that the contributions of Mary Seacole was not forgotten. The unveiling of the statue was the culmination of a 12-year campaign for the MSMSA organization, which will continue the legacy of Mary Seacole through its transformation to the Mary Seacole Trust. The Trust is designed to provide education and increase awareness in the public about Mary Seacole and her example for inspiring and promoting good citizenship.

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Stephanie Korney