Barbadian writers are being encouraged to identify with historical aspects of this island’s development and write about them.

This appeal came from Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley, yesterday after being presented with The Journal of the Barbados Museum & Historical Society and a copy of Professor Alvin Thompson’s book titled Confronting Slavery: Breaking Through the Corridors of Silence. The presentation was made by Director of the Museum, Alissandra Cummins, at the Warrens Office Complex.

Mr. Lashley admitted that oftentimes some young people did not fully understand the importance of certain aspects of Barbados’ cultural development. "We are now in the era of electronic systems, by which the Internet is probably the leader, but that does not in any way replace the importance of reading. Documenting and archiving are still very important facets that are crucial to the development of our young people, in particular…

"I, therefore, want to encourage the authors and others to continue to write because in writing we help to preserve our history and preserve our culture," he argued.

The Minister opined that both publications were crucial to the island’s cultural development and suggested that they should be used in all schools and educational institutions across the island.

He continued: "The publication by Professor Thompson is very timely… We do believe that generations, both present and in the future, need to be awakened to the importance of slavery as an institution, not necessarily dwelling on the past, but being reminded of where we have come from, which should help us to determine our future."

Ms. Cummins described the Museum’s annual journal as "one of the most important sources of contemporary research on Barbadian history, archeology and art" and noted that copies would be sent to schools, libraries and any university or library that is involved with Black Studies or African Caribbean Studies.

She also pointed out that the publication Confronting Slavery: Breaking Through the Corridors of Silence was produced in response to UNESCO’s slave route project. "It is a beautifully illustrated publication to make information which is only in history books and academic publications very accessible to the public. We are very excited to see the publication. We believe it should be in every school, every library and every cultural institution and every child who is studying this subject should have access to it," she surmised.??

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