WATCH: Go back to Africa in mind and in body, urges Minister
Scores of supporters marched on Emancipation Day.
Hundreds came out on August 1 to celebrate Emancipation Day and pay homage to those who gave their lives in the fight for freedom.
At the foot of the Bussa Statue, government ministers, diplomats and members of the Pan-African community gathered to lay wreaths and pour libations to the ancestors.
Minister of the Environment, Trevor Prescod gave a stirring speech, urging those present to reconnect with the past in order to take the struggle of freedom forward.
He noted that whites in Africa are still clamoring for a piece of the land while blacks in the Barbados and the region are choosing to stay away from the motherland, holding fast to stereotypes that Africans are "barbaric" and blacks are inferior.
He said in the spirit of Emancipation is was time to reconnect with African in body and in mind.
"That is what Emancipation is all about, not just taking shackles off your wrist but it is a freedom from an enslaved mind... the only people that do not want to go back to Africa are Africans in the Diaspora. Is that not pathetic?"
Minister Prescod said, leading up to Emancipation Day 2019, government will engage schools and non-governmental organizations to "let them know why this [walk] is imperative in our lives".
"Next year when we return here we should see thousands of people, we will do everything that we can and we will urge the government to mobilize thousands of people."
Culture Minister, John King also shared his views about what he hopes the Emancipation celebration will be in the future.
Minister King told reporters he wants Barbadians to have an honest conversation addressing the "real meat and bones problems that we face as a race and as a people"- a conversation he believes will make many "uncomfortable".
He said if these conversations about race relations are not explored, events such as the Emancipation Walk will be nothing more than a fashion parade.
"If you are looking at what we continue to do to ourselves as a people then we have a long way to go. Even the concept of politics and how we try to vilify persons based on political parties … if we are not prepared to have these conversations then all of this is just going to be for style and fashion."
He said there are still "serious cracks" in the way in which black Barbadians relate to one another, highlighting that there is still a lot pf psychological mending that needs to take place.
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