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Jul 30, 2021

Minister of Culture Speaks on Emancipation Day

For the first time, Belize will observe Emancipation Day as a public and bank holiday this year.  It commemorates the day in 1838 when enslaved Africans from the English-speaking Caribbean were legally freed from forced bondage. The date has been identified as August first, but the holiday will be given on Monday this year since the first falls on a Sunday. Today Minister of Education, Culture, Science and Technology, Francis Fonseca gave an address in which he spoke of the significance of the day.


Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education, Culture, Science & Technology

Francis Fonseca

“Slavery was one of the most evil chapters in all of human history. Over 20 million African men, women and children were brutally and inhumanely forced from their homelands and brought to the Americas and the Caribbean to work on agricultural estates. Here in Belize, these enslaved Africans were bought and brought from the slave markets of Jamaica and Bermuda to provide free labour for the logwood and mahogany trade. The first record of slaves arriving in Belize is in 1724. Today as we celebrate Emancipation Day, let us as a nation renew our commitment to correcting this injustice and addressing these inequities. We must do so by creating greater opportunities for education, for employment, for land and housing ownership. We must also celebrate the proud history of resistance and resilience embodied in our African ancestors.”


Emancipation Day activities will be held in the various municipalities to highlight the achievement of emancipation throughout the month of August.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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