Emancipation Day marked with wreath laying in Accra

Mrs Catherine Afeku, laying a wreath on behalf of the Government and  people of Ghana.Photo Michael Ayeh (2)

Mrs Catherine Afeku, laying a wreath on behalf of the Government and people of Ghana.Photo Michael Ayeh (2)

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has commemorated this year’s emancipation day celebration with a wreath- laying ceremony at the W.E. B. Du Bois Centre, the George Padmore Library and at the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park in Accra on Wednesday.

This year’s occasion which marked the 20th anniversary was celebrated in collaboration with the Ghana Tourism Authority on the theme “Emancipation: our heritage, our strength, celebrating the African resilience.”

Wreaths were laid on behalf of the government and people of Ghana, traditional rulers, the diaspora and the youth of Africa at all the three venues.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Catherine Afeku said the day was to remember the ancestors and how they lived and died fighting for their freedom from their slave masters.

She said it was also to reflect on their heroism and remind generations yet to be born that they were not less human because of their colour as “our forefathers were made to believe.”

According to Mrs Afeku it was time, Africans in the diaspora made a solemn oath to connect to the continent by going to the dark room and walking through the gate of no return to relive the struggles their ancestors went through.

This, she said would help them come home to renew the bond through economic and cultural emancipation.

Prof. Horace Campbell, an international Peace and Justice Scholar said emancipation was not for yesterday, today or tomorrow but rather it should repair the damage that has been done by slavery.

He said emancipation should be brought into the curriculum of all schools in Africa to the let the children acknowledge the essence of emancipation.

He said emancipation was started by the blacks in order to reject being treated and seen as slaves but as humans.

Prof. Campbell said “we can’t talk about fighting against slavery without talking about colonialism which is being practiced today in a modern way.”

He said most African countries were still depending on their colonial masters for aid and other forms of support while modern forms of slavery were being practiced in some Africa countries.

Prof. Campbell called for the abolishing of all forms of slavery and colonialism in order to make the struggle of the ancestors meaningful.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr Akwasi Agyemang said the authority was working on projects to commemorate the first arrival of Africans in America adding that next year would mark the 400th year of their arrival.

He said programmes were also lined up for the commemoration of African Americans’ return with events to be held in the Central Region.

He stated the struggle of Pan-Africans brings to bare their resilience for those behind to learn and notice that the struggle continues against deprivation and poverty.

BY BENEDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY

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