Activist calls on people to fight for what they believe
An activist is encouraging people to fight for what they believe in and to continue learning new things.
Glenn Fubler emphasised the point during an event at Barr’s Bay Park yesterday that reflected on when a ship carrying 78 enslaved people arrived in the island’s waters 188 years ago.
A storm caused the Enterprise, which was sailing from North Carolina to Virginia, to wind up in Bermuda’s waters in 1835, less than a year after slavery was abolished in Bermuda and the other British territories.
The vessel had to dock on the island to repair damage and a local pilot guided the ship into Hamilton, which was considered a safer harbour than St George’s.
Sir Thomas Butterfield, Bermuda’s Chief Justice at the time, granted each enslaved person on the ship automatic emancipation days after their arrival and all but six accepted their freedom.
According to Mr Fubler, emancipation was the result of groups rallying together.
He explained: “It’s that same rallying spirit that we are calling on here today.
“For the challenges that we have and the need for us as a community, not just in Bermuda but around the world, there is a call for us to make that step and recognise the feelings of other people and be empathetic of them.
“In that empathy, we access that human need for solidarity, taking those extra steps and going the extra mile for the other person.”
Mr Fubler was joined by Stacey-Lee Williams, executive director of Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda, and Lisa Reed, executive officer of Bermuda’s Human Rights Commission, at the commemoration.
All three wore name tags with “L”, symbolising lifelong learning.
Mr Fubler added: “If we can appreciate and humble ourselves in some ways to view everything as a learning opportunity, regardless of how many degrees we have behind our name, we’re always learning.
“In that mould, why not come together and bring about the transformations that happened during emancipation?”
Mr Fubler also encouraged people to celebrate the 189th anniversary of emancipation at City Hall today.
The event, which will take place from 12.45pm to 1.15pm, will feature performances by Sai Emory, from the In Motion School of Dance, as well as Ms Reed discussing human rights.