Mary Irvine’s Blog: Freedom Bound – Escaping Slavery in Scotland


Freedom Bound – Escaping Slavery in Scotland by Warren Pleece, Shazleen Khan and Robin Jones, pub. BHP Comics, Glasgow 2018.

I recently spent a couple of hours in Our Lady and St. Patrick’s School in Dumbarton. The reason for the visit was to hand over a set of thirty books. These were Book One of ‘Anne and Mary’s Local Tales’ about which I’ve written before. We donated these for class use. In addition we have already sent £400 to the Beatson Cancer Charity from the sales of books 1 – 4. We are working on Book 5 at the moment.

Whilst chatting with the librarian, Margaret Mary, she drew my attention to a box of books which had recently arrived.  She knew of my interest in the Civil Rights Movement and thought I would be interested. I offered to take one and provide the school with a review.

The book is a graphic novel into which there has been much thought about introducing school children to a sensitive subject but one which they should be aware is a part of our history – slavery. There are three chapters each dealing with the life of a slave who ended up in Glasgow and ‘escaped’. Attitudes of ‘owners’ are shown quite subtly. The cruelty alluded to gives space for development according to the age of the students

The format lends itself very well to its use with students of all ages. The speech bubbles are kept to a minimum but nevertheless the story flows. The pictures not containing these bubbles can be used for encouraging the readers to ‘tell’ what is happening. There is much for extension and discussion at all levels and with all ages. It is an excellent complement to a deeper study of the whole subject. The extra information at the end of the book may be used at the discretion of the teacher/parent who is in the position of assessing of where to go following the reading of the comic format.

This book will be a valuable asset when the subject of slavery and the part Glasgow played is addressed. These books are being distributed to all schools but can be obtained online at £13.20 inc p&p from

or from Waterstones at £19.99

The stories are based on research by Simon P. Newman and Nelson Mundell. For full details see: the Runaway Slaves programme 

“Freedom Bound” – Discussion at GOMA Thursday 18 October, 2018

6 p.m. – 7.30 p.m.

Nelson Mundell, PhD researcher at Glasgow University, and Sha Nazir, director of BHP comics, will discuss the research and development process of making “Freedom Bound”, the ground breaking graphic novel telling the true story of three slaves brought to Scotland and their journey to freedom.

The event is Free and part of Black History Month.

"Freedom Bound" – Slavery in Scotland Discussion at GOMA
Public Lecture of the Publishing Scotland’s International Fellows Glasgow - review by Mary Irvine

This section: Black History Month Glasgow, Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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