Vincentians told to ‘break the chains keeping them in slavery’
August 11, 2017

Vincentians told to ‘break the chains keeping them in slavery’

Vincentians have been told to strategize to break the chains that are still keeping them enslaved, years after emancipation.

The advice came from Descima Alexander-Hamilton, head of the Accreditation Unit, the featured speaker at the Emancipation Day rally on July 31 at Diamonds.

“We have to first recognize that we need to break that chain by understanding what emancipation means. You need to decide how you’re going to strategize, just like how the Garifuna people strategized, just like how Marcus Garvey strategized, just like how the Rastafarians strategize, you gotta strategize for yourself.

No minister is going to strategize for you; you’ve got to deliver yourself and emancipate yourself.”

Alexander-Hamilton said Emancipation Day has lost its significance in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) and we need a new kind of emancipation.

“Today, we do not have the chains upon us, because we have been legally emancipated, but what do we have that keep us enslaved? We are being enslaved by the cultural penetration around us.”

According to Hamilton, many of our children would only see August 1 as another holiday, another day to go to the beach or to have a picnic.

Alexander-Hamilton further stated that today’s children are sidetracked by their gadgets that do not make them any better off. She says that we seem to have an almost lost generation, but that is not their fault.

“It is our fault when we don’t stop to celebrate and to mark and to observe our cultural anniversary in a special way. Parents, we have some work to do; grandparents, you have even more work to do, because you are the ones who are the custodians of the memory of all that would have happened. You would have heard from your grandparents; it means you have the information, you have the history. Please give that information to us, so we could pass on to our children and our children could pass on to their children and together we can begin that genuine process of emancipating St Vincent and the Grenadines.”

She said it is not enough to go on the beach and say we are celebrating Emancipation Day. The former history teacher declared that it is time for us to pause and ask ourselves if we are really emancipated.

Alexander-Hamilton recounted that the last time she spoke to Oscar Allen, he told her that in his view, the celebrations that we are having are too intellectual and those who know are speaking to each other and are not speaking to the grassroot people who need to understand.

She further stated that our strategy will be our remedy, but we need to come together and strategize.

Social and political activist Oscar Allen, who died on July 28, was also remembered at the rally by various persons in the community of Diamonds, which was his home village.(JWC)