Emancipation Day 2020 Wreath Laying Ceremonies Held
The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts in collaboration with the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), has held wreath-laying ceremonies to mark the beginning of programmes and activities to commemorate this year’s Emancipation Day Celebrations in Accra.
The wreaths were laid at the W.E.B Du Bois Centre, George Padmore Library and the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park in honour of the departed leaders and freedom fighters.
The events brought together members of the Diaspora, government officials, traditional authorities and the media.
This year’s Emancipation Day celebration is on the theme: “Our Heritage, Our Strength,” with the sub theme: “Leveraging our Resilience: Black lives Matter.”
Mrs Barbara Oteng Gyasi, the sector minister, at the event, said Emancipation was a time of celebration as it was a time of remembrance of the terror that swept across the Caribbean and Americas by the enslavement of human beings.
She said the call for African unity, championed by the illustrious Dr Kwame Nkrumah, was as relevant today as it was in the early days of independence.
The minister said that Emancipation Day had not only become an institution throughout the African world, but more importantly, a very useful tool for the mobilization of African people to end the African struggle.
“Ladies and gentlemen, Emancipation Day Celebration provides us the platform to reflect on the heroism and courage of our ancestors, as well as the legacy they have bequeathed us. Our ancestors refused to accept the mental chains which the slave-masters imposed on them.
They rejected the view that, they were less human beings than their masters and that they were destined to be slaves. We must draw on the rich reservoir of our history to drive our actions today,” she said.
On his part the Chief Executive Officer of the GTA, Akwasi Agyeman, stressed the importance of this year’s celebration in the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic.
He said just as the forebears of black emancipation did not give up on the struggle against oppressive rule and colonialism, Emancipation had to happen regardless of how difficult it seemed.
Executive Director of the PANAFEST Foundation, Rabbi Halevi Kohain, also added that “we should never underestimate the power of rituals because it gives strength for the struggle to continue. Anytime we celebrate a piece of African history, we celebrate it for Africans all over the world. Let’s continue to celebrate African resilience.”
Board Chairperson of the PANAFEST Foundation, Prof. Esi Sutherland Addy, also said the struggle for absolute emancipation of black people remained as relevant today as it was then, as blacks abroad continued to suffer racial injustices and atrocities. For her, groups such as the Black Lives Matter movement are very important in this modern struggle.
“Can Africans anywhere be free when Africans everywhere are not free?” she quizzed.