Emancipation marked the end of an era when human beings could be legally trafficked and enslaved, a period when persons could be whipped and worked till death for the benefit of others, sold, exchanged, and inherited like ‘chattel’, animals or family silver and other heirlooms.
Those persons, women and men, who struggled to break that world order and to bring a new world into being where people by law are free and equal, are remembered and celebrated during the period of emancipation each year and symbolized.
The Emancipation Support Committee of Trinidad and Tobago (ESCTT) has proclaimed that the Kambule Street Procession, as part of the 2022 Pan African Festival TT, will take place this year After a 2-year hiatus from a physical parade, the Committee is excited to facilitate this grand celebration of Emancipation for the people of Trinidad and Tobago who have been eagerly awaiting this event.
The Emancipation Village Opens
The Lidj Yasu Omowale Emancipation Village at Queen’s Park Savannah has earned the reputation as having the largest collection of African-inspired art, craft, jewelry, clothing, and food. This year will be no exception, patrons are welcomed to visit when the Emancipation Village was officially opened on July 29. On July 30, the Emancipation Village placed the spotlight on some of T&T’s talented performers. The Rhythm and Voices of Africa along with members of the Rapso community came together to remember and pay tribute to Brother Resistance. Every day at the Village there will be Capoeira demonstrations from 3–5pm and other interesting activities for young persons.
The Emancipation Village is open every day from Friday July 29 to August 1st from 10am.
On Emancipation Day, the celebrations shift into full gear starting at 4am, at the All Stars Pan Yard from where a procession will head to the Yoruba Village Monument and then to the Arise Monument in front of the Treasury Building. At 8 am, Yedaase: A Tribute to Our Ancestors will take place in front of the Treasury Building on Independence Square, Port of Spain. Expect moving moments of reflection as people gather from all parts of the Country, the region and the Diaspora.
Kambule, the much-anticipated procession through the streets of Port of Spain, is scheduled to begin at 9am from the Treasury Building, in front of the national monument to the African spirit of resistance, Arise.
At the Emancipation Village, expect nonstop cultural performances as groups parade across the Village stage. At 3pm the final session of Rhythm and Voices of Africa will be presented. To close this year’s celebrations, you will be invited to join the Flambeau Procession at 7p which will end at Massy All Stars Pan yard at East Dry River.
Paying Tribute to the Ancestors
After 30 years, the ESCTT remains committed to ensure the continuation of the festival in a manner that is appropriate to what it represents. It is celebratory and positively inspiring. It is also sacred.
The festival is a tribute to African ancestors who built mankind’s earliest major civilizations in the valley of the Nile, leaving behind the Great Pyramid among other structures that still invoke wonder. It is a tribute to those who produced the first written scripts which included concepts of deity. It is a tribute to ancestors who spread their knowledge and unique building techniques to South and Central America in times before recorded history. It is a tribute to ancestors whose civilizations eventually fell to conquerors from societies that were far less developed but ruthless in their pursuits of wealth and power.
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