August 2 signals another Emancipation Day, another public holiday for the masses to revel in the carnival season and engage other leisure activities – a few may reflect on what the day is intended. Emphasis on a few if one measures public participation at events arranged to celebrate the day.
In her Emancipation Day message Prime Minister implores Bajans to not just commemorate the emancipation of our forefathers from chattel slavery but “celebrate the lives and efforts of our African forefathers to end slavery. In remembering these things, let us understand that while the seas may get rough and while the struggle may be long, together we can and will see these challenges through. That is to say that egos, matters of self-interest and tribalism must give way to the way of thinking and the lifestyle that saw communities raise children and societies raise the bar”.
The blogmaster finds no fault with the message by prime minister Mottley asking us to be inspired to overcome the challenges before us by what our forefathers had to achieve breaking the chains of physical slavery. Maya Angelou in her inimitable style encapsulates the importance of the past with a practical definition- “I have great respect for the past. If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going, but I’m a person of the moment. I’m here, and I do my best to be completely centered at the place I’m at, then I go forward to the next place“.
We have to do better to help Barbadians sustain the awareness around the struggle of Blacks for liberation. The blogmaster is satisfied our children are given sufficient exposure at the primary and secondary level to be aware of the struggle. Where we continue to fail as a society is our inability to feed a culture to support our people being energized by the heroic achievement of our forefathers. Instead we have allow edourselves to become overwhelmed by the miasma of popular foreign culture which by and large continues to lock our people into another form of bondage- economic and mental slavery.
To Prime Minister Mia Mottley again we say, a nice sounding message, a message that will tick the box on the checklist for the day, however, inquiring minds wonder- what about the need to find practical approaches to assist citizens translate your nice sounding message to relevant daily activities? We have become a people characterized by revelry, indolence and lawlessness, antithetical to the traditional value set that underpinned the behaviour of our forefathers.
So Prime Minister Mottley, your message will be received as empty by a majority of the population because the discrete actions required to invoke meaning for the general population is MIA.