by Linda Straker
- Emancipation Day is a time to remember our past, to remember where we have come from
- Most significant event for 2020 will be a virtual panel discussion on the road from slavery
Emancipation Day is the only holiday that will be observed during the month of August. Though there will be reduced activities, the day is expected to be one in which educational activities will focus on the journey from abolition of slavery to present-day challenges.
“We cannot touch Emancipation Day, that is a national holiday it has more significance and it’s not a time for revelry. It is a time to remember our past, to remember where we have come from. It’s a more sober period and I expect us to conduct ourselves accordingly,” Prime Minister, Dr Keith Mitchell said in an interview.
Emancipation Day is one of 3 holidays normally in August and the Cabinet has already agreed that because a decision was made to cancel carnival celebrations in 2020, the designated days of 10 and 11 August will no longer be designated holidays.
Shirma Wells, Chief Executive Officer of the Grenada Cultural Foundation, explained that traditionally Grenada observed Emancipation holiday on the first Monday of August, but on the actual Emancipation Day, there are usually commemorative events. She said that for 2020, on 1 August, the day declared as Emancipation Day for the British Colonies, the foundation which has spearheaded activities over the years, will be holding a limited observation. “We will be laying wreaths both on the Melville Street basketball court and in the Market Square as well as having a reading of the proclamation.”
The areas where the wreaths will be laid were where slaves were prepared for auctioning and the Market Square is where slaves were auctioned.
In Grenada, Emancipation Day is celebrated on the first Monday of August with cultural activities but for 2020 the most significant event will be a virtual panel discussion that will focus on the road from slavery. “What we have this year is a compromise plan due to the Covid-19 protocols in place, but we will be observing the day,” Wells said.
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