Rev Canon Pitts – who is one of the first black women to be ordained as a Parish Priest in the Church of England in 1994, will host a Day of Remembrance on Sunday at Holy Trinity Church, Birchfield, in Birmingham.
Speaking to Premier ahead of the service, she told Premier why the day was so important.
“Four years ago I felt strongly that God was saying, ‘stop and let’s remember’. ‘And what is it we’re remembering?’ said one person.
“We’re remembering where we came from because unless you can remember where you’ve come from then it’s highly likely you won’t know where you’re going.”
The commemoration will be the second of its kind at the church.
Explaining why these victims should never be forgotten, she added: “It is about pausing to say, ‘we are here because they were there and we’ve arrived here because they were who they were’.
“A group of people – from whom I have descended died, were enslaved and it is my duty to remember that.”
The transatlantic slave trade was the largest enforced movement of people in history. It is estimated that 15-20 million men, women and children, were extracted from their homes and sold as slaves.
For more than 200 years Britain was at the heart of this lucrative transatlantic slave trade. Enslaved Africans and their descendants were central to the rise of it as an industrial power.
Representatives from the Anglican and Pentecostal Churches and local MPs will join other dignitaries for the service.
Listen to Premier’s Rachel Matthews speaking with Rev Canon Pitts:
Stay up to date with the latest news stories from a Christian perspective. Sign up to our daily newsletter and receive more stories like this straight to your inbox every morning.
African and Caribbean communities in Britain are being called to honour and celebrate the lives of their enslaved ancestors.