St. Thomas- Members of the 32nd Legislature, led by Senate President Myron Jackson, hosted a program in celebration of African Liberation Day with the theme “Raising the Consciousness of African Youth,” on the grounds of the Legislature on St. Thomas and St. Croix, on Thursday.
“The 2017 African Liberation Day Ceremony engages our youths as well as the elders. The youths in our community are our future. If you do not know your history, then your history will be lost. As African people, let us celebrate our contributions to the world.
We observe this day as required by law for this specification,” said Sen. Jackson.
Bill No. 18-0147 proclaims that the third week in May is recognized as the Virgin Islands African Liberation Week. This is in homage of Africans brought to the Virgin Islands by force and taken away from their homeland, family and culture.
The event began with the conch shell blowers and libation. This was followed by performances by the Queens of the Earth and Wachanga Drummers. Community culture bearers shared words of wisdom and encouragement but added that the community must have an urgency to continue the work of those that came before us. Remarks were also given by Nyabinghi Priest Tafari Tzakki and lawmakers.
“I understand the importance of these types of programs. We are Virgin Islanders,” said Sen. Millin Young. “When we look back at our history and where we came from. Our ancestors are a part of us. Each aspect of us must be respected. I see a lot of pride in our young people and I am proud to be here with you today.”
Sen. Dwayne DeGraff said, “The question I asked myself was how do we integrate the younger generation into carrying this forward? It’s inspiring to see the younger generation playing an active role in maintaining and sharing our history on African Liberation Day.”
Additional aspects of the program included musical selections from Calypsonian Kirabo Stephens, Soloist Gylchris Sprauve, Violinist Isis Collier, and the Legends Choir. Senator Tregenza Roach and Lukata Samuel read poems. There were dance performances by Christopher Williams, Seymour Davis and the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School Creative Dancers. The traditional story was told by Master Storyteller Yohance Henley.
Senators in attendance included Myron Jackson, Janette Millin Young, Marvin A. Blyden, Jean, Positive T.A. Nelson, Dwayne DeGraff and Tregenza A. Roach.