Buxton First of August Movement to observe 180th anniversary of end of slavery

The Buxton First of August Movement (BFAM) has organized its annual activities to observe the 180th anniversary of the end of plantation slavery in Guyana and the Anglophone Caribbean under the theme, “Emancipate Yourself from Mental and Economic Slavery.”

 According to a media release from the BFAM, this year’s theme draws attention to the ongoing need for African Guyanese to redouble their efforts to make good on the emancipation promise of economic and cultural empowerment as prerequisites to true freedom.

This year’s observances will commence on Sunday July 29 with an Emancipation Church Service at the St Augustine’s Anglican Church, Buxton at 8:30 am. The service will be conducted by Father Peters, the parish priest of St. Augustine’s.

On July 31, there will be a Libation Ceremony and the Emancipation Soiree. The Libation Ceremony will be held at the Emancipation Monument at the Buxton Market Square, beginning at 6:00 pm, the BFAM statement said.

The Soiree, which is scheduled for 9:00 pm, takes the form of a cultural programme and includes drama, poetry, folk singing, dance, village gaff, Kwe Kwe and Nancy Story. Several cultural groups and individuals from Buxton and beyond are slated to participate. The keynote address will be delivered by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.

According to the media release, on August 1, Emancipation Day, there will be the annual Village Feeding, where villagers, especially the elderly and children, will be treated to a variety of African Guyanese foods.

On Saturday August 4, The Friends of Villages Museum and Archives Inc will launch the “Buxton Friendship Museum, Archives and Culture Centre.”

The activities continue on Sunday, August 5 with the annual Eusi Kwayana Emancipation Symposium at Friendship Primary School at 4:00 pm, the statement said. The topic for this year’s symposium will be “The Coming Oil and Gas Economy: Prospects for Empowering the Poor and Revitalizing the Village Economy.”

The panelists are Professor Clive Thomas and Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman.

The observances conclude with an “Education Roundtable” on Sunday, August 12 at Friendship Primary School at 4:00 pm. The topic is “Restoring Education Excellence in Buxton: What is to be done.”

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