Saturday 17 November, 2018

Emancipation Walk led by spirit of ancestors

The 2017 Emancipation Walk being led by the drummers.

The 2017 Emancipation Walk being led by the drummers.

The sound of drums rang out over the J.T.C Ramsay section of the ABC Highway and the surrounding communities as various religious and Pan-African groups met to recognise Emancipation Day at the foot of the 'Bussa' Emancipation Statue this morning.

From as early as 6 a.m. people started to gather at the statue to pay respects to General Bussa who led the 1816 slave revolt in Barbados, as well as others who laid down their life in the fight for emancipation from slavery. 

What the crowd lacked in size they made up for in song and dance. Led by only a handful of drummers, the gathering, which included many from the local Spiritual Baptist Church, sang religious songs and chanted in honour of Barbados’ freedom fighters.

The procession included a wreath-laying ceremony and a tribute of libations at the base of the statue. Remarks were also delivered by Sister Keturah Babb of the Rastafarian community who urged those present to continue the fight for economic and social emancipation.

Emancipation Walk

It was just before 9 a.m. when the walk to Emancipation Village began. Close to 200 people followed the sounds of the drum for over an hour across the highway, through Tichbourne, the Back Ivy and finished off at the Emancipation Village located on Blenheim pasture.

The Bongani Festival included displays from the African Heritage Foundation (AHF), the Venezuelan Embassy and other grassroots small businesses. Head of Mission at the Embassy of Venezuela in Barbados, Franciso Manuel Perez Santana, gave remarks in which he spoke on the social and political unrest affecting Venezuelans at present. Santana said the fight for freedom from oppressive forces continues for his brothers back home but they will press on in the struggle for democracy.

Other notable figures who attended the Emancipation Walk include Member of Parliament for St. Michael East, Trevor Prescod, Member of Parliament for St. Thomas, Cynthia Forde and Government Senator Patrick Todd.