July 30, 2004
Emancipation style

Activities to mark Emancipation Month kick off this Sunday. A series of events are planned under the theme, ‘Understanding our past, shaping our future, celebrating our cultures.’ A more apt outline could not have been chosen.
August 1, will once again be the focus of the celebration, bringing home the impact and significance of the date to the majority of the West Indian population. {{more}}
The Caribbean culture will continue to be a unique blend, shaped by a rare mix of customs and traditions. Perhaps that is why the Caribbean remains the zone that it is, with a culture that is difficult to define, for it continues to evolve. And as time progresses, more and more ingredients are thrown into the melting pot.
The granting of freedom to the slaves was greeted with satisfaction but nowadays, some, not pleased with the full impact of the abolishment, continue to clamour for compensation for wrongs suffered at the hands of planters. The pattern after slavery was designed to further alienate and humiliate the former slaves. Former calypso King Elvis ‘Abijah’ Abbey alluded in one of his songs to the hurt that resulted ‘Black man really know what is pain.’
Therein lies the enigma of our culture. For Caribbean man/woman seems to laugh at every thing, and does not take things seriously. That is until and unless something seriously threatens his means of survival.
How else could he cope with the treatment meted out to him over the years and still maintain a level of sanity.
The degree of poverty that still exists in some quarters is tantamount to present day slavery. And it is only within recent times that some efforts have been made to address the revival of the black man’s dignity. But it’s hard to speak of St. Vincent and the Grenadines through any colour concept. Its civilisation has fused imperceptibly into something that even the natives cannot comprehend.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines retains its unique outlook, and has become an inevitable part of the Caribbean tradition.
The question of flexibility and survivability are aspects of the nation, which have distinguished our civilization.
It is commendable and certainly encouraging that emancipation observances have advanced to take up an entire month.
The inclusion of the Breadfruit festival as part of the commemoration throws up another potential controversy, given the fact that shrouds in our history are gradually being lifted and the nation is moving ahead in its quest for an identity. That battle will continue and only as we strive to regain our nobility will we reach to the stage of achieving real freedom.