The calendar of events has been launched for the 2015 Season Of Emancipation.
Yesterday, National Heroes’ Day, the activities for the season were rolled out by Acting Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth Ronald Jones in Independence Square at a free evening concert.
Jones said that during the season, which begins in May, the Ministry of Culture Sports and Youth would be launching a competition soliciting submissions for a design of a monument to be erected in memory of some of the island’s Unsung Heroes.
He also stated the ministry would shortly be meeting with the various pan-Africanist groups to work on a strategic plan that will guide Barbados’ contribution to the Decade For Persons Of African Descent 2015-2024. The decade will be officially launched on August 17 –– Marcus Garvey Day.
Emancipation Day will be celebrated on August 1, which will be marked by the annual Emancipation Day Walk that will start at the Emancipation Statue at Haggatt Hall, St Michael, and end at Spring Garden where amidst Crop Over activities, the Emancipation Ceremony will be held.
“This is fitting, since as a symbol of resilience on the plantation, Crop Over went beyond an activity of sponsored merriment and became one of celebration identity and self. That is what makes the festival More Than A Carnival, coming as it is during the Season Of Emancipation,” Jones said.
The minister also announced that May 25 would be celebrated as African Liberation Day when the ministry, through the Commission of Pan-African Affairs, will be hosting the Mabalozi Conference And Shell Ceremony.
“The Mabolozi programme focuses on the Afrocentric education of our young people and is undertaken at the monument by more than 60 teachers across the country.
“New Mabalozi, which translated means ambassadors, will be inducted on the day of the conference, and those already in the programme will present their reports,” Jones explained.
July 26 is the Day Of National Significance when the legacy of National Hero Clement Payne is commemorated –– 1937 Disturbances that changed the social landscape of Barbados. The Crop Over Folk Concert which will be staged on July 24 will call that day into remembrance.
The Season Of Emancipation will end on August 23, that marks International Day For The Remembrance Of The Slave Trade And Its Abolition. On that day the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth will introduce the Bridgetown Debates, a series of discussions on topical issues pertaining to our culture and identity.
A number prominent entertainers performed at yesterday evening’s National Heroes’ Day event, which was attended by a large crowd.