Members of the Pan African Coalition of Organisations will walk hand-in-hand with Cabinet and other Government officials on Emancipation Day, August 1.
Secretary of PACO, David Denny, told a news briefing this morning at the Israel Lovell Foundation, My Lord’s Hill, St. Michael, that the Pan Africanists would join Government on the “Freedom Walk” from the Emancipation Statue at 8 a.m. to Independence Square.
Denny said he was happy the Government had returned to “Bussa” for the early morning march and that it had given the non-governmental organisations the opportunity to arrange their own programme.
Chairman of the Emancipation Day programme for PACO, Reverend Onkphra Wells, said their aspect of the celebrations would begin at 5:30 a.m. around the statue and feature a performance by about 30 drummers, “welcoming the morning sun”.
“Thirty drummers will start the proceedings on Emancipation Day; and this would take us from 5:30 up to 6 a.m. At 6 a.m., the official programme will start with libations at the roundabout beneath Bussa’ feet,” Rev Onkphra noted.
He said that other acts would include the Israel Lovell Dancers, and speeches from Dr. Rodney Worrell, Opposition MP Trevor Prescod, Denny, representatives from the Cuban and Venezuela Embassies, along with officials of the Barbados Workers Union and the Barbados Association of Professional Social Workers.
There will also be performances by Gabby, Adrian Green, Charles Odell, Lion Soul and the Haynesville Youth Group. The PACO chairman pointed out, too, that the Emancipation Choir, which was formed from persons in the community, will also perform.
“There is documentation from the Bussa revolt, whereby the slaves were interviewed, and we are extracting those interviews, and Sonia Richards and Winston Farrell shall be reading the voices of the enslaved, how they felt at the time, leading up to the revolution,” he disclosed.
He said his desire was that the entire programme would reflect a message of solidarity, hope and “where do we go from here as an African people”.
The Pan Africanist also told the news briefing that his organisation intended to build on this Emancipation Day programme every year.
“This Emancipation Day grouping, this Emancipation Day shall become more and more meaningful, and that is the best we can hope for, whereby we embrace the sufferation and sacrifice and build upon those, so we have a brighter future for every man, woman and child that is a Barbadian,” Onkphra added. (EJ)