As I drove by the half erected Jubilee village today, I reflected on the true symbolism of emancipation. Dancehall frivolity aside, on this day 178 years ago, our mother country finally conceded that the treacherous middle passage, bartering lives for pots and pans in West Africa and for money in the Caribbean, was reprehensible and that the slave trade be abolished.
To them, emancipation from physical slavery was one giant leap. To be free, what we now take for granted, must have brought insurmountable joy to our proud forefathers. So much abhorrence did our ancestors harbor, that they refused jobs on plantations and opted, instead, for education. We were once the pride of our mother nation.
What we take for granted now, our forefathers and mothers, in the forms of Daddy Sharpe, Cudjoe and Nanny, fought feverishly for. And yet, we remain shackled by greed and apathy. We remained shackled by a lack of education, poverty and the notion that our destiny is ordained by others, that the rich oppress us. We remain complacent with our station.
These invisible shackles, burn and cut more deeply than any middle passage simply because it is self inflicted.
Happy Emancipation Day, black, green and gold.