July 29, 2011
Diamonites collaborate to launch Emancipation activities

The Diamond Village Heritage Organisation, Diamonites Community Organisation, and the Earlene Horne Foundation will be launching Emancipation activities in the Diamond Village area with the Emancipation Rally and Vigil on Sunday, July 31, at 10:00 pm in the Earlene Horne Square.{{more}}

The event will celebrate the African roots of Vincentian culture through performances from community members and groups and presentations on the slave experience and the emancipation movement. The Diamond Village New Testament Church of God will be leading a praise session for the event. At 12 am, the community will light up and march throughout the village to mark the passage of the Slavery Abolition Act on August 1, 1834.

The Diamond Village community hosts a month of Emancipation activities centered on educating the community on the slavery of their ancestors and the effects that slavery has had on the culture, traditions, and development of the country. The community is proud to offer a series of lectures in the community and bible study sessions throughout Emancipation month.

It is estimated that over 1.6 million Africans were transported to the Caribbean between 1640 and 1807. The slaves to the Caribbean were considered the property of their owners and were responsible for bearing the brunt of the hard plantation labor. Many families would be separated in the experience and expected to relinquish their past history and customs for those of their owners. Through the experience, members of the Caribbean came to create their own, secretive culture. Many times they would share their experience of slavery through field songs, stomps, and worship sessions. Their religious practices would be masked under Christian prayer sessions. This experience has created its own culture with African roots, European influence, and Caribbean traditions.

The passage of the Slavery Abolition Act signified the reclamation of freedom and power by the former slaves. The British colony was one of the first to start the Emancipation movement but it was not successful without the grassroots anti-slavery movement. Churches and communities came together to denounce slavery and would find small ways to resist the power and influence of their masters. These small acts together with intellectual backing created a successful movement that opened the doors to freedom.

This year we celebrate that movement and the power of the Caribbean people to determine their own future and destiny. We hope that you will join us in making this programme a success and we invite you to take part in the opening event.