Our Readers' Opinions
August 6, 2004
Freedom proclaimed in Diamond Village

At midnight on July 31, 2004, the crowd gathered at Earlene Horne Square in Diamond Village and observed a moment of silence to commemorate the 166th anniversary of the moment of freedom from slavery. {{more}}
At this same moment in 1838, two million black people in the English-speaking Caribbean, 29,000 of them in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, became free from slavery. Here in Diamond, in the hours leading up to midnight, the village centre was filled with drumming, speeches, prayers and songs recognizing and
celebrating freedom.
The theme of this year’s annual Freedom Watch was “Rising from Mental Slavery”. Casper London, Maureen King, Otto Sam, Saboto Caesar, Selmon Walters and Cheryl Johnson offered remarks as Nzimbnu Browne and his students punctuated the emotional speeches with drum rhythms. The speakers appealed to the members of the crowd to be proud of their African heritage and to gain collective strength from their foreparents who resisted the horrors of slavery.
Minutes before midnight, the crowd marched through the village singing and chanting songs of praise, thanks, and defiance, and celebrating freedom. After the moment of silence, a shout of freedom rose up mightily from the village square. It was the echo of that cry of triumph in 1838. It was also a pledge to continue to rise up from mental slavery.

Oscar Allen