Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley revealed that next August, Barbados would be hosting an African Awareness Festival.
“The Cabinet has been very reflective of the importance of what we have been doing in building out and claiming our Atlantic destiny…and our government is firmly committed to having a physical presence in Africa, and in addition our government feels that we need to be able to define the month of August as that month in which we celebrate our Africanness, our heritage as children of Africa,” Ms. Mottley said.
The Prime Minister, in emphasizing the relevance of the festival, stated: “As we come out of Crop Over, we move in to the festival so that in all things from St. Lucy to St. Philip … and from our engagement with our diaspora across the world, we should be in a position to celebrate and uphold for our young people to understand the dignity of their inheritance, the African contribution to our civilization.”
Ms. Mottley said the festival would start from August 1, with Emancipation Day celebrations and continue on August 17 with a day of recognition of Marcus Mosiah Garvey, a man the Prime Minister noted “dared to be different and dared to define freedom in his own way rather than to be the recipient of crowns of those that felt that freedom should be unfolded in a manner that is demeaning and subordinate”.
She said the festival would continue on August 23, when the world celebrates the abolition of the slave trade, “a date that should forever be etched in our minds as the descendants of slaves”. The festival, which will feature food, music, arts and technology, will be organized by the Ministries of Culture and Tourism.