Emancipation 2020 Wreath-Laying Ceremony Honours Pan African Leaders

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Three leaders in the Pan African movement, W.E.B. DuBois, George Padmore and Kwame Nkrumah, were honoured in a wreath laying ceremony on July 27th, 2020. This marked the beginning of activities that lead up to the annual celebration of Emancipation Day on August 1st.  This year’s theme for Emancipation is, “Our Heritage, Our Strength, with a sub-theme: ‘Leveraging our Strengths; Black Lives Matter’.

 

The ceremonies took place at the W.E.B DuBois Centre, George Padmore Library and at the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park.  Each of these leaders were honoured with a small ceremony at their respective place they have been laid to rest.  Notable people present at the ceremonies included the Minister of Tourism Arts & Culture, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman, Director of Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President, Akwasi Awuah Ababio, Chairperson of PANAFEST Foundation, Professor Esi Sutherland-Addy, Head of Missions at Diaspora African Forum, Ambassador Erieka Bennett, Executive Director of PANAFEST Foundation, Rabbi Halevi Kohain, and Author Lala London from Saint Vincent & Grenadines.

Hon. Oteng-Gyasi delivered a heartfelt message during her keynote address at the DuBois centre and welcomed the youth and students who also joined in the event.  The minister said that the writings of DuBois and his political philosophies challenged the notion that the black man was inferior.  She said that it was no surprise that former President Nkrumah found a kindred spirit in DuBois and that his relocation to Ghana was a clear demonstration of his Pan African beliefs. “The call for African unity championed by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah is as relevant today as it was in the early days of independence,” the minister said.

Four wreaths were laid at each location to honour the three men: from the government of Ghana, traditional authorities, the global African family and the youth of Africa.  Due to covid-19 measures in place, the number of attendees at each ceremony was limited and strict measures were adhered to when the wreaths were laid.

After the ceremony at the Dubois centre, a plaque honouring the late civil rights icon, John Robert Lewis was unveiled on the Sankofa Wall at the Diaspora African Forum.  Ambassador Bennett said that, “John Robert Lewis dedicated his life to the emancipation of black people around the world.”  The memorial wall has the names of people who have made an impact in the movement for black people on the continent and in the diaspora.  Bennett said that Lewis kept the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. alive.  It was important to honour him.  The name of civil rights advocate, Congressman Elijah Cummings, who died last year was also added to the wall.

 

Prof. Sutherland-Addy spoke to how significant last year was during the Year of Return when people had travelled from all over the world and what a stark difference the energy was this year as the pandemic has limited our interactions.  She highlighted how the current climate of racial tensions have forced us to look at the systemic issues affecting black people around the world.   She said that during these times we must question the systems and do the things necessary to make us the owners of our own destiny.

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2020 Emancipation Celebration Launched

Posted By : Collins/ 1190

Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) in collaboration with the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) have launched the Emancipation Day celebrations and “Do Ghana” Travel Festival at the Accra Tourism Information Centre (ATIC) in Accra to kick-start activities lined up for this year’s programme.

The celebration, on the theme: “Our Heritage, Our Strength, with a sub-theme: ‘Leveraging Our Resilience; Black Lives Matter” is aimed at rekindling the frame of unity among black people everywhere and highlighting the interconnected nature of their struggles here on the mother continent and in Europe and America.

Why you should join the Emancipation celebration

 

Hon. Dr. Ziblim Iddi Barri, Deputy Minister of Tourism Culture and Creative Arts said the event is designed to help Africans to reconnect their strengths and rededicate themselves to fully assume their own destiny in recognition of the lessons of history.

He said, “Emancipation Day should remind us once again that, the African family has been separated and that the different factions of the family both on the mother continent and in the Diaspora have suffered from this brutal and traumatic separation.”

“The persistent police brutalities and the criminalization of the judicial system against African American males and the recent killing of George Floyd, an African American, all point to an enduring, pervasive and bigoted world view fuelled by feelings of racial superiority among sections of the Caucasian population,” he added.

Year Of Return: Wreath-Laying ceremony held at historic sites to commemorate 2019 PANAFEST / Emancipation

 

On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of GTA, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman, said “the celebration would open to see domestic arrivals performing insight from various industries and interact with each other in a meaningful way.”

Emancipation Day Celebration is a national and annual event observed to commemorate the resistance and liberation of African people in the Diaspora against enslavement and violation of their human rights.

 

Activities

Date Activity Location
27/07/2020 Wreath-Laying Accra
28/07/2020 Panel Discussions Virtual
30/07/2020 Tree Planting All Regions and Assin Manso
31/07/2020 Reverential Night Cape Coast
01/08/2020 Emancipation Day Ceremony / Healing Prayers Assin Manso

 

The Emancipation Day Celebration which originated in the Caribbean has been celebrated since 1834 when chattel slavery was finally abolished in the Caribbean.

The event has been on Ghana’s tourism calendar of events since 1998. Ghana became the first African Country to re-affirm its status as the gateway to the homeland of Africans in the Diaspora.

Emancipation Day more consciously serves to create and develop a unique sense of unity, cooperation, and understanding amongst Africans the world over as well as all people of conscience. Emancipation is not only freedom to the enslaved, but also the enslaver.

Source: Happy Fm

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