Our Readers' Opinions
May 22, 2009
Celebrating African Liberation Day



Monday 25th, May, marks another year in which we will celebrate and commemorate African Liberation Day under the theme “AFRICAN SOLIDARITY WILL BRING SUCCESS”. Many might ask why do we celebrate such a day?{{more}} It is of utmost importance to understand the historical and present importance of this significant day. This day is celebrated in Africa but also in all other countries of the world where you find persons of African descent – after all Africa is for Africans at home and abroad.

African Liberation Day is the direct descendent of Africa Freedom Day created by the Conference of African States convened under the auspices of the Nkrumah government in Accra, Ghana. April 15, 1957 was designated as Africa Freedom Day. The eight heads of states at that meeting intended Africa Freedom Day to be a day marking their renewed commitment to the liberation/decolonization of the whole African continent and all it’s people.

When the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was created in May of 1963, the founding delegates proclaimed May 25, 1963 African Liberation Day (ALD), as the successor commemoration day to Africa Freedom Day. Since then African peoples have observed ALD all over the world.

On April 15, 1958, in the city of Accra Ghana, African leaders and political activists gathered at the first Conference of Independent African States. After 500 years of the most brutal suffering known to humanity, the rape of Africa and the subsequent slave trade, which cost Africa in excess of 100,000,000 of her children, the masses of African People singularly, separately, individually, in small disconnected groupings for centuries had said, “enough”! But in 1958, at the Accra Conference, it was being said in ways that emphasized joint, coordinated and unified action.

This conference gave sharp clarity and definition to Pan-Africanism, the total liberation and unification of Africa. A few years later after the First Conference of Independent African States in the city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia another historical meeting occurred. On May 25, 1963, leaders of thirty-two independent African States met to form the Organization of African Unity (OAU).

From the first day of celebration back in 1963, the ALD celebration has grown by leaps and bounds it is celebrated in many different ways the events include:

Formal gatherings with panel discussions.

Street marches.

Speeches by political and social leaders.

Special university lectures.

Rallies featuring cultural entertainment, poetry, and speakers.

This year, African Liberation day will be celebrated with a march and rally. The march will leave the Central Market at 3:00pm through the streets of Kingstown and will end with a cultural rally at the Grammar School Playing Field, where there will be a cultural package along with solidarity messages and addresses from various organizations and distinguished persons.

We the members of the African Liberation Day Committee urge the general public to wear Afrocentric Clothing on this day. We know that the banks, along with other individuals often portray their heritage. We will like to ask you to do so on this day and encourage others as well. We will also like to make a special call to the Radio Stations to play uplifting music and organize some programmes that will be edifying about the African continent, people and culture wherever they are in the world.

“Wherever there is African blood there is a basis for greater unity. The example of the developed countries amply proves the truth of the proverb, “Unity is strength.” Our greatest asset is our unity, and we must exploit it to the fullest” HIM Haile Selassie I

Blessed African Liberation Day to all

Sister Angella “Ideisha” Jackson