29 August 2014

Anguilla, Curacao commemorate respective historical emancipation movements


For the first time there has been a concerted effort in Anguilla to bring about an awareness of the relationship between August Monday as part of the holiday week of revelry, known as the Summer Festival, or Carnival, and Emancipation – the abolition of slavery in the British colonies, including Anguilla in 1834.

As Anguilla prepared for the main week of festivities and boat-racing, in celebration of forty years of carnival on the island, Sunday, August 3, was observed as Emancipation Sunday. Bethel Methodist Church, at South Hill, where the original church building was built by slaves, was the scene of a special service with reflections on the African slaves who were brought to the Caribbean and the degradation they suffered. The church’s senior choir set the tone for the order of service with several negro-spiritual songs; and Rev Dr Wycherley Gumbs mainly apportioned his sermon to slavery and emancipation as well.




WILLEMSTAD, CURACAO — On Sunday August 17th, the monument at Rif was the scene of action of the commemoration of the slave rebellion led by Tula in the year 1795. 

Since 1984, August 17th has been commemorated by the Curaçao Government as Dia di Lucha pa Libertat, Day of the Struggle for Freedom.

On Sunday, it was exactly 219 years ago that the slaves on the island revolted. The theme of the commemoration of this year was patriotism, the key to building our nation. According to the organizers of the memorial service, theAsosiashon Promoshon KonsenshiIstóriko, Plataforma Sklabitut and Herensia di Sklabitut, the theme was chosen because slaves fought for their freedom in 1795 and now, years later, this should be viewed as an important step on the road to the emancipation of the people and the construction of a new Curaçao.

During the commemoration at the park Parke Lucha pa Libertat at Rif, there was an extensive program of performances by various cultural groups. In text and sound, the performers dwelt upon the events of 219 years ago. The traditional speeches were again pronounced by Culture Minister Irene Dick [Pueblo Soberano].