Signature Emancipation Celebration event to be held
Details of this year’s signature Emancipation Celebration event focusing on Bermuda’s cultural ties to Africa were shared in the Senate yesterday.
Ernest Peets, the Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, said ‘The Resilience of the African Spirit’ theme for the July 23 event is to be held at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute.
Dr Peets said: “This theme has two meanings; it calls upon us to consider the ways in which aspects of African cultures have been retained in our Bermudian culture despite hundreds of years where these values, histories, and ways of living were maligned; yet somehow, survived erasure.
“The second meaning calls upon us to consider the ways in which this spirit of our ancestors still lives in us; and how we, as African Bermudians, reflect this gift of resilience in the present day.”
The Department of Culture has worked on a programme in partnership with the cultural group Jumuiya ya Afrika Bermuda.
There will be displays of African clothing, “a diversity of textiles that can be seen throughout the continent”, as well as a focus on food and how West African foods including saltfish and cassava remain in Bermudian cuisine today.
There will also be an opportunity to learn about the food and culinary traditions of Ethiopia including its famous coffee ceremony. Music will also be a dominant feature.
Dr Peets added: “Music – the soul of our celebrations – can often be marked with the heartbeat and rhythms of the African drum and the similarities with music genres of the diaspora will be explored.”
While tickets are limited to the physical event because of Covid-19, there will be a livestream on Facebook.
Those interested can register online at https://bit.ly/AfricaBda
A raft of tours and events are to take place in the lead-up to Emancipation Day and Mary Prince Day as reported here.
Dr Peets also acknowledged in the Senate the unveiling of Freedom Square on the grounds of City Hall on July 2. He extended his gratitude to those, including members of the Progressive Group, who had made sacrifices to challenge racial segregation.