The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, yesterday held a wreath-laying ceremony to mark the beginning of programmes and activities to commemorate this year’s Emancipation Day Celebrations in Accra.


The celebration is on the theme: "Emancipation: Returning the African family for development."


The wreath-laying ceremony was in honour of three illustrious sons of Pan-Africa and freedom founding fathers, leaders and Pan-Africans, W.E.B. Du Bois, George Padmore and Dr Kwame Nkrumah.


Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, Minister of Tourism Culture and Creative Arts, said the ceremony was in honour of the departed leaders and ancestors whose toil, sacrifice and struggles paved the way for the emancipation of the Blackman from the shackles of slavery and ensured his right to self-determination and political independence.


She said the memories are aimed at rekindling the flame of unity among black people everywhere and highlighting the inter-connected nature of their struggles here on the mother continent, and in Europe and America.


She said the last five centuries of human history had been marked by sheer brutality and criminality of conduct towards the Blackman whose oppression and deprivation had been rationalised by a systematic institutionalisation of the lie that the man of colour was deficient and inferior.


Mrs Ofosu-Adjare said it was important as nations and the continental bloc to feel the weight of the responsibility to reserve this persistent bias and prejudice and in a way re-double the efforts to build peaceful and prosperous communities where all could flourish and the full spectrum of the Blackmans’ talents could be nurtured to benefit all humanity.


She said a people who do not know their history, appreciate and understand the events that have forged their present realities risk having a bleak future, saying ‘we cannot hide from the harsh truth of history’.


“Emancipation, the enslavement of Africans in the Americas and other parts of the New World, the triangular trade, the incessant internecine wars and conflicts, the activities of marauding slave raiders on the African continent, the destabilisation of African Kingdoms and nations are a painful but veritable component of the history of the African over the last five hundred years”.


The sector minister said the cumulative effects of these five centuries of shocks were still being felt and the sons and daughter of Africa whose struggles, marches and revolutions gained independence from colonial administration in Africa have to confront today’s challenges with equal fortitude and determination.


She said the phase of the struggles might have changed but the determination to give the African an equal chance to exploit his inalienable right of freedom to pursue happiness unshackled by any racially biased limitations remain unchanged.


Mrs Ofosu-Adjare said: “As a people and especially as a continent we should rise to the challenges of the time, as our destinies are inextricably linked and the strength of our unity is necessary to overcome the tremendous odds and challenges we have to confront.”


She said the emancipation day should always remind Ghanaians of the common heritage and destiny and rekindle our commitment to the total emancipation and progress of Africa.


Other programmes lined up for this year’s celebration include a reverential night at the Cape Coast Castle on Friday, July 30 and a grand durbar of the chiefs and people of Assin Manso at the Assin Manso Slave River and Reverential gardens in the Central Region on Saturday, August 1.


The Emancipation Day was introduced into Ghana in 1998, and celebrated on August 1 every year since on August 1, 1834 Chattel Slavery was abolished in the then New World Societies, the present day United States, the Caribbean and the islands of the Atlantic.


Source: GNA

Created: 31 July 2015
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