Grenada Cultural Foundation to Spearhead Emancipation Celebrations

Moko Jumbies at Independence celebratons

As Grenada is in the middle of the ‘Spicemas Season’ the Grenada Cultural Foundation (GCF) takes this opportunity to remind persons of the important milestone in Grenada’s history — Emancipation.

The celebrations for 2017 will be seen as significant to our Carnival culture which started on 1 August 1838 (Emancipation Day) — 179 years ago. The day that heralded freedom for our African ancestors, and was also the first recognised carnival celebration throughout the islands. The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Emancipation: from Slavery to Carnival.’

The foundation will be laying a wreath at the Melville Street Barracks where the slaves were washed and greased to be transported to the St George’s Market Square to be sold. The main activity will then take place in the St George’s Market Square where our ancestors were sold into slavery to various plantations in Grenada, and other nearby islands. Minister for Culture Hon Senator Brenda Hood, will unveil a plaque to honour our African ancestors who were enslaved. The plaque will be placed in a column in the St George’s Market Square.

The foundation asks that the public pay tribute to our ancestors by wearing ethnic clothing on Tuesday,1 August, and extends an invitation to everyone to join in the activities in St George’s on that day. The GCF reminds that the official day of Emancipation is Tuesday, 1 August and not the first Monday in August as traditionally celebrated.

The ceremony in the St George’s Market Square will consist of prayers, the reading of the Emancipation Act (Proclamation), by Richardo Keens-Douglas, with drumming by Tumda. Motorists are asked to blow their horns at noon on that day. Churches are encouraged to ring their bells and the Fire Station has been requested to sound their fire engine sirens across the island.

According to the CEO of the GCF, Shirma Wells, Emancipation is an extremely important historical day to Grenada — one that we should never forget. She asks that artistes and other carnival practitioners join in the celebrations to show appreciation for a great traditional legacy inherited from our ancestors.

The activities commence at 11 am in the Melville Street Barracks and 12 pm in the St. George’s Market Square. For further information call the Grenada Cultural Foundation at 435-2839.

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