The Emancipation Day Walk, which takes place tomorrow from the Garfield Sobers Statue outside Kensington Oval, is much more than just walking.
Director of the Commission of Pan Affairs, Dr. Deryck Murray told Barbados TODAY in a telephone interview that the event, which starts at 8:30 a.m., showed that emancipation was a process.
“The symbolism of the actual walk, and you know we walk for many things, but we’re walking so that we can remind ourselves and other Barbadians of the sacrifices that were made. We purposely choose to walk through ordinary communities, communities that can easily be marginalised and have often been marginalised, to remind leaders that emancipation is not emancipation until everybody is emancipated and can share in the prosperity and the wealth of the nation, and can have equality in terms of justice and freedom.
“We walk from Garfield Sobers whose emancipatory force was different from others because his was in terms of sports and cricket. We want to demonstrate there is no one path to emancipation and we end up at Errol Barrow as the Father of Independence. We can’t touch all of the symbols and statues of the national heroes because they are not on the same route, but the idea of walking from one to the next is also to say that emancipation is a process.
“We started our struggle with emancipation from the time we landed as enslaved Africans in Barbados and that struggle involved many leaders along the path and some of whom we’ve chosen to highlight. So the idea of walking from one to the next just reminds people it is not a static one-for-all goal, it is a process that continues until we can have full liberation, full equality and the removal of all injustices,” Murray said.
After leaving the statue, the walkers, several of whom are expected to wear African-inspired clothes, will travel along President Kennedy Drive towards Westbury Road, take the first right after Westbury Primary School and turn left on to 8th Avenue New Orleans.
They will also travel to Kensington New Road, Chapman Lane, walk through Lake’s Folly, on to St. Mary’s Row, pass through Jubilee Gardens and turn left on to Lower Broad Street. From there, they will turn right on McGregor Street, left on to Wharf Road and proceed across Chamberlain Bridge and on to Independence Square, where there will be a brief ceremony.
Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, will deliver the Emancipation message, while Chairman of the Commission for Pan-African Affairs, Dr. Erskine Simmons, will give the welcome.
Those persons who are unable to complete the walk should line the route or join the celebrations in Independence Square.
There will be entertainment on the road by Bobo, Ifie’s Moko Jumbies, Haynesville Youth Group, the Barbados Landship and tuk band appearances. There will be a small concert in Independence featuring BoBo and Lion Soul. (DS)