Pan Africanists and members of the public braved some early morning showers to celebrate Emancipation Day at the Bussa statue at Haggart Hall, St Michael.
CARICOM Ambassador David Comissiong said the day was of great significance to Barbadians and Caribbean people.
“We know that slavery was abolished in the British Empire on August 1, 1834 or 1838 take your pick. It was abolished because of the unrelenting slave rebellions that took place across the Caribbean – from The Bahamas in the north right down to Guyana and Suriname in the south. It is really the first major achievement of our people and of our ancestors, when by our collective action we showed there was such a repressible reaction, to the system of slavery that the European powers that be had to take that decision to dismantle the system,” he said.
During the celebrations members of the public were treated to a presentation by award-winning author and poet Winston Farrell, following which flowers were placed at Bussa’s statue.
Addressing the gathering General Secretary of the Pan African Coalition of Organisations David Denny made yet another call for Nanny Grigg to declared a national hero of Barbados.
“We demand that our Government and our people see Nanny Grigg as a national hero. One of the ladies of that period in the Bussa rebellion who would have made a major role and we cannot leave out the ladies. It is important to include the ladies who were involved in the struggle that is why I always make the demand for Nanny Grigg to be made a national hero,” he said.
Vocalists Rhesa Garnes and Lisa Griffith closed the proceedings with a powerful rendition of the legendary Bob Marley’s Redemption Song.(LG)