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SVG celebrating African Liberation Day with march

SVG celebrating African Liberation Day with march


The assassination of Attorney General Rawle in 1973 brought plans to celebrate the first African Liberation Day (ALD) in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) to a screeching halt.

The following year, however, organizers Renwick Rose and other young progressives, successfully held the first celebrations.{{more}}

Thirty-four years later, Vincentians are still celebrating and reflecting on the struggles and triumphs of the peoples of Africa and the African Diaspora.

Held under the theme “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery,” this year’s celebrations took the form of a week of activities which included a photographic exhibition titled “Rasta in SVG” at the Peace Memorial Hall, radio and television programmes, a film show, spiritual celebrations and a march and rally in Kingstown last week Friday, May 23rd.

Addressing the moderate gathering at Heritage Square, Ras I-Man-I of the Nyabinghi Order called on persons to rid themselves of the political strategies and religious ideologies that are foreign to them. “We brought civilization to the world,” he said.

Minister of Culture Rene Baptiste, before addressing the gathering, asked that a round of applause be given to all the African Queens for their struggles and sacrifices. She implored the audience to use the Learning Resource Centres for folklore and story telling of African and Caribbean heroes. “I want you to take up the challenge today to keep our African culture alive”, she said.

In delivering the feature address, lawyer and social activist Jomo Thomas gave an overview of the political histories of Haiti, Cuba and Zimbabwe, and the policies of the United States towards them. He called on the crowd to read the great writers of Africa and the Caribbean including Walter Rodney, Eric Williams, Peter Tosh and Bob Marley. “Don’t take your freedom for granted,” he said. “Question why is it one and one make two, the sky is blue”. Thomas said that if we understand our culture, it will take us to higher heights of liberation.

The march and rally was also significant in that it was held on the day that working class hero and first Chief Minister ET Joshua would have been one hundred years old. The activities were organized the by The Church of His Majesty Ivine Order of Nyabinghi, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, the Rastafari Working Committee, Global African Congress, African Heritage Foundation and Youth Black Faith. The final event was a spiritual celebration at Mount Caramel Spiritual Baptist Church at Chester Cottage.