by Maurice Merchant
ST. JOHN¹S, Antigua July 19, 2011 The Office of the Prime Minister is pleased to announce that the committee established in 2007 to commemorate the Bicentenary Anniversary of the Abolition of the British Empire Atlantic Slave Trade will now be officially called the Antigua and Barbuda Reparations Support Commission.
The Commission will continue to lead national initiatives, programmes, discussions and activities on issues pertaining to the institution of slavery, emancipation and reparation. It has the mandate to:
· lead national reflection on the institution of slavery which was at the heart of profound social and economic inequality, hatred, bigotry, racism and prejudice.
· identify, design and promote programmes for the commemoration of the abolition of slavery.
· honour the memory of those who died as a result of one of the worst acts of violation of human rights in the history of humanity.
· organize activities to include education and awareness programmes concerning reparations for the enslavement of our ancestors and establish links with organizations with similar mandates.
· foster deeper ideological, social and economic connections with people of African descent in the Diaspora and continental Africa.
Dorbrene O¹Marde has been appointed as Chair-person and Ambassador Anthony Liverpool as Deputy Chair-person with a directive to recruit persons either formally or informally to assist with the design and execution of plans and programmes in support of the mandate. Other members appointed to the Commission are:
King Frank-I Francis
Dr. Lester Simon
In preparations for the upcoming emancipation celebrations the Commission will be hosting an Emancipation Sunday celebration on July 31st at Betty¹s Hope and an Emancipation Exhibition at the Museum from July 25th to 29th 2011.