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Jul 22, 2021

Calendar of Activities to Celebrate Emancipation Day

Sylvia Batty

Events for the newly designated Emancipation Day holiday on August first were released today at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts. Across the country in various municipalities as well as on Facebook, educational activities, exhibits, spoken word and drumming sessions on the history of slavery and its abolishment will be shared. The month-long list of activities culminates with a visual arts competition. 


Sylvia Batty, Representative, Institute of Archaeology

“The actions have been coming in, rolling in as we speak so we finalised this very recently and we are so excited to be able to partner and highlight with numerous communities, community based organization and numerous actors so it’s a well-rounded calendar and we are happy to have partnered and highlight these organizations.”


Kim Vasquez

Kim Vasquez, Representative, Institute of Creative Arts/Museum of Belize

“ICA is undertaking an event entitled Poet Free. We have put out a month long call for submission of poetry and short stories on the theme of emancipation and enslavement as well as African identity, Belizean history and Belizean culture. Those are some of the themes that we are anticipating to receive. We will be having on the thirty-first, our reading – a virtual presentation of selected readings from these submissions. We intend to have the writers and the poets with us in a virtual event. We are also are looking forward to presenting a spoken word interpretation of the abolition act. We want to put this to drumming and create a short video to take ownership and put a creative presentation of the abolition act.”


Nigel Encalada

Nigel Encalada, Director, Institute for Social and Cultural Research

“Organizations have in the past undertaken initiatives to observe emancipation day even without the holiday. The Queen Street Baptist Church will be hosting their Emancipation Eve church service. They have been doing this also in collaboration with UEF and this is now a part of the tradition. And it is directly linked to what had happened when emancipation was announced in Belize. A service was held at the Queen Street Baptist Church and so it is a tradition that church community have taken up and will also be held at six p.m. on July thirty-first and it will be played at eleven p.m. to bring in emancipation day on August first.”


Slavery was abolished on August first, 1834. 

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