Theatre Boycott celebration ‘a success’
A celebration to mark the 61st anniversary of the end of the Theatre Boycott was a success despite grey skies and some rain, the event organiser said.
Glenn Fubler, the president of community group Imagine Bermuda, said yesterday's ceremony at Hamilton City Hall saw dozens of people come out to recognise the watershed 1959 civil rights protest.
He added that the turnout — which he said was larger than expected — highlighted a greater appreciation for the landmark boycott, organised in secret by the Progressive Group.
Mr Fubler said: “This chapter in Bermuda's history is so seminal — it really is perhaps the most important thing to happen to us in the 20th century and it is the foundation for Bermuda in the new millennium.
“Having it recognised and understood and appreciated is very vital for us moving forward as a country.”
The event featured speeches and presentations that highlighted the significance of the Theatre Boycott.
Mr Fubler was joined by Lovitta Foggo, the Community affairs and sports minister and Kristin White, the leader of Social Justice Bermuda, which organised a march in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign last month.
The celebration also featured musical performances by the bands Hindsight and 2nd Division, as well as teenaged singer Indigo Adamson.
The event ended with the planting of a peach tree, donated by Isabelle Ramsay-Brackstone, the Honorary Consul of Canada.
on the City Hall lawn.
Mr Fubler said Ms Ramsay-Brackstone was invited in honour of two Canadian teachers who donated a printing machine to the Progressive Group to create flyers during the Theatre Boycotts.
He added that the two-week long campaign, which helped demolish segregation in cinemas and other businesses, had particular relevance because of the worldwide protests against institutionalised racism sparked by the death of African-American George Floyd in Minnesota at the hands of a white police officer.
Mr Fubler said that the Theatre Boycotts were an example of how ordinary people created change in their society in a peaceful manner.
He explained: “Because the protest was completely non-violent and peaceful, it spoke to an important contribution to the legacy of Bermuda.
“Here we have this chapter in our history that shows that these protests can happen without violence, so it's something that Bermudians collectively can be proud of.”
Ms Foggo said that discussion on race was vital to the creation of change and praised young people and organisations that spoke up for racial justice.
She added: “Our current times find us at another cross road of history where our young people have taken up the mantle of fighting for racial equality and racial justice.”
“Our observances today are extremely timely because these young men and women have taken up the mantle of Dame Lois Browne-Evans and Dr Pauulu Kamarakafego to fight for racial justice and racial equality — and we honour their energy and their perseverance.”