Emancipation celebrations launched
Friday, July 28, 2023
by Neval Auguste, GIS

Emancipation is observed annually on Aug. 1, and marks the passing of the Abolition Act of 1833. In recognition of this significant day, the Cultural Development Foundation (CDF) and the Government Information Service (GIS), produced and aired the virtual Launch of Emancipation, hosted by Mr. Ezra Augustin. A national event, the half-hour production was aired on broadcasting stations islandwide, on July 21. The star-studded spectacle highlighted the collective importance of the observance of Emancipation.

“For Emancipation 2023 we hold on to the theme Enkindling Our Consciousness,” Mr. Augustin said. “We continue to awaken our identity and tap into our history to celebrate our heroes and pay homage to the events of the past which have shaped our present; and we continue to build our future as we stand on the foundation laid by our ancestors. As a country we have triumphed over trials; as a people we have accomplished the impossible building our country from the foundation laid down by those who came before us. Perhaps this spirit of persistence must be inherited.”

Executive Director of the Folk Research Centre, Ms. Rhyesa Joseph, encouraged all citizens to think, reflect, and live emancipated; while the Minister for Tourism, Investment, Creative Industries, Culture and Information, Hon. Dr. Ernest Hilaire, said the Emancipation Calendar of Activities will assist individuals in understanding the important role Emancipation has played in Saint Lucian history.

“This year, we will again celebrate Emancipation with month-long activities under the theme Enkindling Your Consciousness. For us, it is a very powerful statement that our people must come to understand and recognize the importance that Emancipation has played in our history. This year I promise you that the program will reaffirm our commitment to celebrate the emancipation of our forefathers in a manner befitting its historical significance. I invite all Saint Lucians to be part of the celebration and let us make sure that Emancipation continues to mean something significant to us.”

This year’s activities include the Drums and Dance Ritual, Emancipation lectures, a Breadfruit and Breadnut Festival, the Freedom Concert, Emancipation murals, and the La Woz Festival Gwan Fete.