African Heritage Celebrated

The President of the St. Andrew’s Development Organization (SADO), Martha Bowen, has reminded Grenadians of the importance of celebrating their African heritage.

“We must keep that flame burning,’’ Bowen said August 1 at the SADO-sponsored 2011 Emancipation Day celebrations and Rainbow City Festival in St. Andrew.

Emancipation Day commemorates the official proclamation of 1838 when enslaved Africans working on sugar plantations in Grenada and other British colonies in the Caribbean were granted their freedom from chattel slavery.

According to Bowen, Emancipation gave the fore-parents of today’s Africans “the freedom to express themselves and to practice all their customs and traditions.’’

She added that the customs and traditions are now part of “our culture. It is part of us, even though we may be influenced by outside culture. We still have to hold on to what is unique – our African roots.’’

Emancipation Day included a march around the Town of Grenville, a cultural show and an exhibition of locally made craft, clothing, food and drinks at the Grenville Car Park.

Bowen said the event “remains an exhibition of our Grenadian culture centered around Emancipation.’’

Among the hundreds from St. Andrew and across Grenada who attended the August 1 celebration of Emancipation was MP for St. Patrick East, Prime Minister Hon. Tillman Thomas.

The theme of the Rainbow City activities was, “Celebrating our African Heritage with the Spirit of Emancipation”.

For original article: Spiceislander.com » African Heritage Celebrated.

Author: Ken Archer

I am an ethnomusicologist, who obtained my doctoral degree at the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. My areas of interests include the musical, ritual, and celebratory traditions of the circum-Caribbean and the African Diaspora. I worked as a lecturer at the Columbus and Marion Campuses of the Ohio State University, where I taught classes in World Music, Rock and Roll/American Popular Music, Western Art Music, and directed the OSU Steel Pan ensemble.