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Aug 5, 2022

CARICOM Secretariat Congratulates Belize on Emancipation Day Celebration

During today’s CARICOM gender consolation workshop in Belize City, we also got a chance to speak with the Program Manager for Culture and Community Development for CARICOM, Doctor Hillary Brown. Her office works closely with the CARICOM Reparation Commission created to establish the legal case for the payment of reparation by governments of former colonial powers. Doctor Brown first congratulated Belize on its second annual Emancipation Day celebration.


Hillary Brown

Dr. Hillary Brown, Program Manager, Culture and Community Development

“First let me say congratulations to Belize on having recognized Emancipation Day as a national holiday in Belize. It is a holiday in several other member states. But, we can’t even think of it as a holiday, really as an important observance and taking into account the history of people of African descent in this region, and remembering the brutality, the horrors, the dehumanization that people of African descent faced, chattel, as being enslaved. Belize recognizes that they were enslaved, that they were not born slaves. We need to recognize that it was a global system orchestrated by Europe and that some fifteen to twenty million Africans were taken forcibly and against their will to this region, and subjected to the most inhumane and brutal system perhaps known to man. It was a crime against humanity, it always was so.   What I wanted to share with you, sort of on the other side, the Emancipation Day celebrations in Antigua and Barbuda, and Guyana, we actually hosted delegations of African royalty, some African royalty from the continent. We had a Queen Mzilikazi of the Zulu nation. We had King Papa Sande and others, and I can tell you it was a tremendous celebration in both countries, the way they were received. And, I can tell you it is really important to have more of those visits so that we can inspire the youths of the region, so that they can understand we come from royalty.”

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