‘Breaking the Silence Africa before the transatlantic enslavement” Emancipation exhibition launched
DPI, GUYANA, Tuesday, August 15, 2017
The Ministry of Education, Department of Youth, Culture and Sport is hosting an exhibition under the theme “Breaking the silence Africa before the transatlantic enslavement,” to commemorate Emancipation Heritage month.
According to Tamika Boatswain, Director of Culture, Ministry of Education Department Youth, Culture and Sport, the show is expected to inspire a celebration of Africa before the transatlantic slave trade.
The event being held at Museum of African Heritage, Boatswain said will not only inform persons of the African’s way of life, but will enlighten them to the importance of imbedding such skills into today’s society. “It is upon the community to engender these skills in our young ones coming up to ensure that we have more scholarly individuals,” she noted.
This exhibition seeks to enlighten Guyanese on the deep cultural roots to Africa. The Director stated that much was lost during the slave trade but can be reclaimed and the exhibition is a reminder of “how we can be great again.”
2015 through to 2024 persons will be celebrating the decades of people of African descent throughout the entire world, the Director declared. “Money is being spent on many different programmes and different aspects that is supposed to improve the condition of African descendants.”
The exhibition will display banners and information that is testimony to the fact that Africa was a very rich continent prior to the development of the slave trade; Boatswain explained they made achievements in several areas including architecture, business and finance, trade, culture and in the manufacturing of goods. Most of the products used today, if examined closely, would reveal origins in Africa. Medicine was also a major part of the African culture.
Nine-year-old Samuel Chichester said “It’s amazing to just see my fellow Africans around and see their culture and what they were like.”
Godfrey Austin, who is currently visiting Guyana after some 40 years said that “just to come here and see the continuation of … black history in Guyana and moving forward…it is interesting to just read the history; there is a lot of people out there that don’t know the true story of black history.”
The UN General Assembly proclaimed 2015-2024 as the International Decade for People of African Descent (resolution 68/237) citing the need to strengthen national, regional and international cooperation in relation to the full enjoyment of economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights by people of African descent, and their full and equal participation in all aspects of society.
As proclaimed by the General Assembly, the theme for the International Decade is “People of African descent: recognition, justice and development.”
In proclaiming this Decade, the international community is recognizing that people of African descent represent a distinct group whose human rights must be promoted and protected. Around 200 million people identifying themselves as being of African descent live in the Americas. Many millions more live in other parts of the world, outside of the African continent.
The exhibition is part of the activities to commemorate Emancipation Heritage month and the International Decade of People of African descent.
By: Zanneel Williams