Commemorating the 182nd Anniversary of Emancipation (August 1st 1838 – 2020)
August 01, 2020, marks 182 years since the abolition of chattel Slavery in Grenada and former British colonies. As we commemorate the end of Slavery and the beginning of our journey to liberate ourselves from the 400 years of the enslavement of Africans by Europeans, we challenge ourselves as well as the world around us to reflect on and remember the tearing apart of families, the decimation of communities, and dehumanizing of the African Man, Woman and Child that has occurred over these past centuries.
Regrettably, as evidenced by the recent acknowledgment of racial injustice plaguing many western nations, descendants of African salves still need to scream BLACK LIVES MATTER! to curse the legacy of slavery at the core of much of these deplorable events experienced by many of our communities today. This year 2020 as we acknowledge a most significant step which began on August 01, 1838, to regain the dignity of the African, and to repair the historical damages of slavery we call on every Grenadian to take up the challenge to restore respect, repair injustices and to remind the current and future generations that we remain beholden to our ancestors to continue with the formidable task of rebuking all attempts to repress our continued struggle for full and sustained liberation.
The Institute for People’s Enlightenment calls on people of African decent, on all people in the diaspora and on the Continent of Africa to continue efforts to dismantle the colonial miseducation which has alienated us from each other. Let us take daily steps to loosen the shackles which hold us back from trusting our brothers and sisters. We must work assiduously to collaborate on new business opportunities to advance our economic, cultural and social wellbeing, and raising the consciousness of the current generation of leaders to repatriate what has been stolen from Africa and the people of African descent wherever they may be.
As we continue our emergence out of slavery to construct our lives and our young nations, and pick up the pieces of our culture; we also petition those who have benefited and continue to benefit from the exploitation of Africans to use this day also as an opportunity to stop and redirect their thoughts and actions. We challenge everyone to appreciate that we are a resilient people and that the pain and anguish of our forefathers still haunt our current generations. We now inhabit a world at a time which requires greater cooperation, peace and sustainable living for the survival of all human beings.
We must therefore, collectively rebuke the holocaust of the Transatlantic African Slave Trade. Apologies, redress, and the honoring of the demands for reparations are also just and necessary. After 182 years we must usher in a new era of stability and prosperity for our human civilization with the goal of acknowledging and celebrating the contributions of Africa to world history.
How we chart this course and educate ourselves to deal with the current challenges of the world is deeply connected to how we collectively and correctly re-tell the story of the African. Today we acknowledge the contributions of Julien Fédon, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and so many others that have struggled for our freedom and aided in restoring our dignity. As individuals we must search ourselves for the role we ought to play in this movement towards our continued emancipation and full liberation.
Let us keep the legacy of our ancestors alive and never forget their contribution in struggle for full and sustained emancipation!
Simon P Green, Chairman, the Institute for People’s Enlightenment.