Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Remember resilience of ancestors - Grange

Published:Monday | July 11, 2016 | 7:00 AM
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange (left) and Minister of Labour and Social Security Shahine Robinson show off their enamel mugs at the launch of Emancipation Jubilee 2016 recently at the Jewel Paradise Cove Beach Resort and Spa in Runaway Bay, St Ann.

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange is calling on Jamaicans to use the Emancipation period to reflect on their African ancestors and their struggles, pain, resilience and sense of community in the face of adversity.

She was speaking at the launch of Emancipation Jubilee 2016 recently at Jewel Paradise Cove Beach Resort and Spa in St Ann. The annual celebration, which commemorates Jamaica's Emancipation in 1834, showcases the island's unique culture through song, dance, drumming, drama, food and fashion. Minister Grange said the 2016 show, to be held under the theme 'United and Free ... what a Jubilee!', promises to be better than previous years.

"It will be of a greater and higher quality as the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) seeks to redefine the Emancipation Jubilee product to create its own distinctive flavour of being the only event of its kind," she said.

Emancipation Jubilee will be held on the lawns of the Seville Great House and Heritage Park in St Ann on July 31 into Emancipation Day, August 1.

Event consultant Joan Seagears, in a message on behalf of JNHT Chairman Laleta Davis Mattis, said this year's show is being held in solidarity with the United Nations' international remembrance of the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade.

aim of event

She said the 12-hour event will provide patrons with "an emancipated feeling" and "will seek to relive the bitterness of slavery before midnight and the joy of freedom after midnight to draw strength from the resilience of our African ancestors, who fought relentlessly against the brutality and degradation of their own humanity."

The grounds of the Seville Heritage Park will be transformed into an African village to depict the 19th-century emancipation morning. The show will feature gold - medal performances from the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission Festival of Performing Arts, Jonkunnu, drumming and dance groups from across the island.

The Maroon and Islington cultural ensembles and a raft of gospel artistes have also been booked. The University Singers, Carifolk Singers, and Fab 5 complete the line-up of entertainers. A candlelight and wreath-laying ceremony in tribute to the African ancestors will follow the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation at midnight.

Patrons are being encouraged to take along their enamel mugs for the serving of complimentary chocolate tea. Prizes will be awarded to the oldest-looking enamel mug and best traditional African outfit.