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EMANCIPATION DAY 2013 BARBADOS - PHOTOS and STORY

EMANCIPATION DAY 2013 BARBADOS - PHOTOS and STORY

Postby Admin on Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:45 pm

EMANCIPATION DAY 2013 BARBADOS

1 August 2013

I attended my first ever Emancipation Day celebrations on Thursday 1 August 2013. On this day Barbadians of African descent gather at the statue of national hero Bussa and lay flowers there in honour of our African ancestors who were brought to this island as slaves. These photos and images share the story of that most sacred and beautiful day.

The celebrations consisted of three parts.

1. A flower laying ceremony at Bussa's Statue (the Emancipation Statue) in Haggatt Hall.

2. An Emancipation Walk and Historic Tour from Bussa's statue to Independence Square in Bridgetown.

3. A ceremony at Independence Square.

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5:43 am. This is the bougainvillea flower which I picked just before leaving home to set off to the ceremony.

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5:55 am. The scene on my arrival at the roundabout where Bussa's statue stands.

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5:55 am. The scene on my arrival at the roundabout where Bussa's statue stands.

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5:56 am. The scene on my arrival at the roundabout where Bussa's statue stands.

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5:56 am. Bussa's statue against a backdrop of clouds at the dawn of Emancipation morning. Bussa was an African-born Barbadian slave who in 1816 led a slave uprising in Barbados popularly known as Bussa's Rebellion. Bussa led the slaves into battle at Bayley's plantation on Tuesday, 16 April 1816. He commanded some 400 freedom fighters and was killed in battle. His troops continued the fight until they were defeated by superior firepower. The rebellion failed but its impact was significant to the future of Barbados. Bussa remains a popular and resonant figure in Barbadian history. In 1985, 169 years after his rebellion, this Emancipation Statue, created by Karl Broodhagen and commonly referred to as the Bussa statue was unveiled here. By an act of Parliament in 1998, Bussa was named as one of the ten National Heroes of Barbados.

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6:01 am. Barbadians gather at Bussa's statue to start Emancipation Day celebrations.

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6:01. Drummers celebrate Emancipation Day.

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6:04 am. People start gathering as Emancipation Day celebrations begin.


6:12 am. Paying tribute to our ancestors at the libation and flower laying ceremony at the Emancipation Statue, popularly known as "Bussa Statue".

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6:22 am. Flowers laid at the foot of Bussa's statue.

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6:22 am. A bottle of white rum used to pour libation at Bussa's statue in honour of our ancestors.

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6:22 am. A bottle of white rum used to pour libation at Bussa's statue in honour of our ancestors.

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6:24 am. A young black Barbadian woman who is a member of the Nuwaupian family, dressed like a queen. We would later be seated beside each other at Independence Square.

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6:25 am. A rastafarian daddy holds one child in his arms while his older daughter leans on his shoulder.

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6:29 am. The crowd departs following the first part of the official opening ceremony at Bussa's statue.

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6:32 am. Bussa's statue stands proudly on Emancipation Day.

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6:32 am. A line of people laying flowers at Bussa's statue after the official libation ceremony.

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6:33 am. People crossing the street at the Haggatt Hall roundabout to join an entertainment session.

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6:38 am. Drummers at Emancipation Day celebrations. I was very pleased to see such young children actively participating in this event and embracing the art and culture of drumming.

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6:39 am. Drummers on stage.

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6:42 am. A very dignified figure. A black priest in purple robes holds a staff as he observes Emancipation Day celebrations.

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6:46 am. A woman dressed in radiant white clothing and a beautiful kente scarf observes Emancipation Day celebrations.

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6:48 am. A stage break between performances on Emancipation Day.

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7:01 am. Emancipation Day is a celebration for the descendants of black slaves, but there were also some white visitors to the event. The most notable one was the British High Commissioner for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Paul Brummell. I also spotted these two unknown white men in dark shades (at left) looking very much like American spies. The one sitting on the ground was filming the event. There was also a young white lady standing near them at one point.

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7:23 am. A well-represented contingent of Barbadian Nuwaupians assembles on stage.

I first learnt about the Nuwaupians after encountering a group of them distributing promotional literature at their booth at Agrofest Barbados two or three years ago. In many ways they are still a mystery to me. This is the first time I have ever seen so many of them. They were a very prominent part of the Emancipation Day celebrations. At 7:17 am as she addressed the crowd a female Nuwaupian invoked the name of Yaa Asantewaa, the historic Asante heroine and freedom fighter. Two female Nuwaupians shared the stage before the others joined, delivering a greeting message spoken first by one lady entirely in an ancient Egyptian language, then by the other lady entirely in English. As you can see from the photo their flag resembles that of Ghana.

It is my observation that they are a very well organised movement. Later as I walked along the Emancipation Walk route, a young musician who was walking with them informed me that there are many more of them here. I may be wrong but I think he mentioned a gathering of about 2,000 of them.

In the background at right is the British High Commissioner to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Paul Brummell (in white hat), chatting with a group of Bajans.

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7:23 am. Nuwaupians on stage.

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7:26 am. Nuwaupians on stage.

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7:26 am. Nuwaupians singing at Emancipation Day celebrations.

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7:31 am. Politician, Opposition Member of Parliament and Pan-African Trevor Prescod addresses the crowd with a solidarity message on Emancipation Day.

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7:41 am. An elder dressed in kente.

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7:43 am. Singers rejoice on Emancipation Day.

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7:54 am. Adrian Green delivered a powerful spoken word presentation. You can hear his performance at the video below.



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8:01 am. Charles Odell sings and plays his guitar, dressed in clothes made in Ghana and bearing a kente design.

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8:01 am. Charles Odell sings and plays his guitar, dressed in clothes made in Ghana and bearing a kente design. I have seen him before in Bridgetown going about his business but never knew who he was. I would later speak to him briefly for the first time and he mentioned his trips to Ghana. It was a great honour to meet and greet him.

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8:02 am. This black woman is a picture of proud elegance in her royal rasta robes.

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8:10 am. Reknown national folk singer and calypsonian Gabby performs his popular historical song Riots In De Land on Emancipation day.

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8:25 am. A singer performs on stage accompanied by a Mother Sally and a Shaggy Bear. The Mother Sally character features a stuffed and protruding buttocks. This Shaggy Bear outfit was made from dried banana leaves.

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8:25 am. A singer performs on stage accompanied by a Mother Sally and a Shaggy Bear.

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8:25 am. A singer performs on stage accompanied by a Mother Sally and a Shaggy Bear.

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8:25 am. A singer performs on stage accompanied by a Mother Sally and a Shaggy Bear.

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8:36 am. The director of the Commission for Pan African Affairs, Deryck Murray, addresses the crowd and calls for the children to come on stage.

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8:36 am. The director of the Commission for Pan African Affairs, Deryck Murray, addresses the crowd and calls for the children to come on stage. Among his closing remarks he spoke about reparations and mentioned a figure of US $20,000 for each Caribbean person of African descent. This was the first time I have ever heard anyone mention a compensation amount for reparations.

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8:59 am. A young Bajan girl dressed in African clothing looks at a passing crowd through the lens of a computer tablet.

It is one of the most powerful images I witnessed on Emancipation Day, capturing youth, history, culture, identity and technology.

The young girl represents youth and the future.

The African fabric and hairstyle represent history, culture, identity, black consciousness and the connection to Mother Africa.

The computer tablet represents technology and education.

Knowledge is power, and knowledge of our ancestral past is just as important and powerful as knowledge of the latest technology.

This is the future of Barbados and I am exceedingly proud of it.

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8:59 am. A young Bajan girl dressed in African clothing looks at a passing crowd through the lens of a computer tablet.

EMANCIPATION WALK AND HISTORIC TOUR

Following the flower laying ceremony and entertainment at Haggatt Hall there was and Emancipation Walk and Historic Tour but both my phones suffered from low batteries and one went dead completely, so I was unable to take photos along the way. The walk itself was a very enjoyable experience. We were shown the house where the Nigerian royal, King Jaja of Opobo, stayed during his exile by the British. It is now a nursing home for senior citizens.

We were divided into two groups, each with a historian guide who pointed out certain landmarks and revealed important history most of which I never knew before, such as where King Jaja's house was located (I knew it was somewhere on Two Mile Hill but did not know the exact location), how Martinique Road got its name, how Tweedside road was named after the river Tweed that once flowed there, and about lots of houses and former plantations in the area which are now either abandoned or used for other purposes. It was a fantastic walk and tour. When it ended nearly an hour and a half later, one woman remarked that she could have kept walking and listening all day long, and I agree with her. Along the route I met a young black artist, singer and actor, and as we walked together he talked to me about his work and career which I found to be very interesting. His personal story signifies what emancipation is all about and I wished him the best with his career.

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10:48 am. After the long but very enjoyable and educational Emancipation Walk and Historic Tour, officials and members of the public assembled at Independence Square.

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10:48 am. Officials and members of the public assemble at Independence Square to celebrate Emancipation Day.

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10:49 am. Barbadians gather in Independence Square at the foot of the statue of Errol Barrow, who led Barbados to independence in 1966. Literally, on this Emancipation Day, we made a symbolic walk from Bussa's statue to Barrow's statue, walking from emancipation to independence.

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10:55 am. Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley addresses the crowd at Independence Square on Emancipation Day.

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Re: EMANCIPATION DAY 2013 BARBADOS - PHOTOS and STORY

Postby ezphotobooths on Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:11 am

thanks for nice sharing...




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