Published: 8:57 AM on August 01, 2018
The SBCS community extends greetings and best wishes to all of our citizens of African ancestry on the occasion of Emancipation Day 2018.
Emancipation forever changed the economic, political and societal structures of our country. As a nation, we recognise the sacrifices made by our ancestors that facilitated the freedom we enjoy today; we remember of those who through sheer determination and indomitable will overcame immense suffering, and even gave their lives, to eventually attain freedom from chattel slavery – a system which legally allowed persons to be bought, sold, bartered and even murdered with impunity.
As we continue to forge ahead as one people, we celebrate the impact of their sacrifice, the beauty of their culture that has become part of our national identity, and the values of resilience, perseverance and community that live on through us and will continue into generations to come.
Happy Emancipation Day 2018.
About Emancipation Day
Emancipation Day is observed in many former European colonies in the Caribbean and areas of the United States on various dates to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people of African descent.
For more than three centuries millions of people were forcibly transported from their homes in Africa, across the perilous Atlantic Ocean to the New World, where they were forced to labour on sugar plantations for the rest of their lives. This enslavement of a people continued until events in Europe changed the fortunes of the West Indian and North American colonies. In 1833 Thomas Buxton presented The Emancipation Bill in Parliament. The Act was passed and came into effect on 1 August 1834. On that day, thousands of slaves in the British West Indies became free men and women.
One hundred and fifty-one years later, on 1 August 1985, the government of Trinidad and Tobago declared Emancipation Day a national holiday to commemorate the abolition of slavery.