Songs of freedom fill Heritage Square
August 31, 2007

Songs of freedom fill Heritage Square

“Moving Humanity Across the Ocean – Creating History and a New Civilization.”

That was the theme of the concert held last Friday at Heritage Square to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the Trans Atlantic slave trade.{{more}}

Friday’s concert, dubbed ‘Songs of Freedom’, was a joint effort by the Ministry Of Culture and the Abolition of the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Commemoration Committee.

Individuals and groups, including Hairoun Theatre, Cecil ‘Blazer’ Williams, Naked Roots, Sulle and others, contributed to the concert’s success with drumming, poems, dancing and singing, which reflected the journey, hardships and liberation of slaves in the 18th and 19th century.

Minister of Culture René Baptiste addressed the gathering, and urged persons present to remember how far we have come, and to show appreciation and deep rooted understanding of our freedom.

The Minister also indicated the need for this country to create more diplomatic ties with West African countries.

Also addressing the gathering was Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.

Among other things, the Prime Minister recommended some books he felt should be read in an effort to further “emancipate ourselves from mental slavery”: “A collection of Opinions” by Marcus Garvey, “The Black Jacobins” by CLR James, “Capitalism and Slavery” by Eric Williams and “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa” by Walter Rodney.

Dr Gonsalves also took the opportunity to congratulate the Rastafarian community for their steadfastness

and progressiveness, and lauded their religious leader Haile Selassie for his fight against colonialism in the 40s and 50s.

He made an appeal for an end to the violence that is taking place, especially among youths, and urged the society to embrace love, peace and development in our own interest. (JJ)