Today was Emancipation Day in Barbados, it was remarkably low key.
We had the Government sanctioned celebration which featured a freedom walk from Nelson’s Statue to Government Headquarters put on by the Pan African Commission, at the Bussa statue, the Global Afrikan Congress had it’s own event, and then we had a third event held by the Clement Payne Movement at Bayley’s Plantation. (The site of the Bussa rebellion).
Of course the real tragedy of Emancipation day is that it has faded from the prominence that it previously had. Originally the occasion of Emancipation day was a celebration of the ending of slavery and was treated in such a way as to bring the disparate parts of the society together to face the future. It was a celebration for all races and classes.
However what has happened, is that over time the event has been organised more and more by the more radical elements of society. What has happened is that as the rhetoric has become more strident, the mainstream of Barbados (of all races) has shied away from the event. It has become more and more a fringe event with relatively small crowds and a narrow philosophical base. What should be an occasion to rally the country together has become one that splits us into camps.
Emancipation Day celebrations in Barbados have been reduced to the level of farce.
We are all poorer because of this.
Further reading: Nation News: A day divided