As Guyanese were Friday celebrating African Emancipation Day, at least one Black-centric organisation has been preparing for a series of activities to examine the conditions of Africans since slavery was abolished 176 years ago.
The activities are being organized by Cuffy250 Committee, a non-governmental organisation that encourages socio-economic and cultural revitalization within the African Guyanese community and fosters ethnic and racial equality in Guyana
The organisation said in a release that it will be holding the second annual “State of African Guyanese Forum’ on Sunday August 10 at Critchlow Labor College, Woolford Avenue, Georgetown to be followed by the “State of the African Guyanese Villages Forum” to be held in Buxton, East Coast Demerara on Sunday August 17.
The First of August Movement (FAM), which will be holding the forum in collaboration with Cuffy250, expressed deep concern about the state of Villages. Many villages have deteriorated into a state of disrepair–physically, socially, economically and culturally.
“This, we feel, is a desecration of the Emancipation spirit and intent. We feel that Villages, which came into being as a direct consequence of Emancipation, still have a role to play as economic units and socio-cultural centers. We, therefore, use this Emancipation anniversary to urge Villagers all over Guyana to launch a Village Renewal drive aimed at restoring our villages, which are our ancestors’ gift to us, to their former glory,” said FAM.
Cuffy250 also plans highlight ongoing grassroots work in African Guyanese communities, discuss the general condition of African Guyanese on the 176th Emancipation Anniversary and explore the issues affecting African Guyanese such as reparations, police brutality and economic marginalization.
In a message to mark Emancipation Day, Cuffy 250 urhed Guyanese to reflect on its deep significance. “In this regard we must view Emancipation day not just as a token holiday to African Guyanese, but as a recognition and affirmation of Black and African dignity and equal worth and a reminder that all groups have a sacred duty to guard against domination,” said the organisation.
Cuffy250 also called on African Guyanese to strive to rejoin, with renewed vigour, the persistent struggle to realize the Emancipation promise of true freedom- a freedom that can only be won through our Self-Activity, Self-Love and Self-Reliance.