- 01 AUG 2017
Prime Minister’s Emancipation Message 2017
GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
MESSAGE TO THE NATION FROM
DR THE HONOURABLE KEITH ROWLEY
PRIME MINISTER OF THE REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
ON THE OCCASION OF
EMANCIPATION DAY 2017
As we celebrate Emancipation Day 2017 let us never underestimate or forget the sacrifices and hard-won freedom of the enslaved Africans ancestors, who for more than three centuries were forcibly uprooted and transported from their homes in Africa to what was designated the New World of the West Indies and the Americas.
While it may be argued that the scars of slavery are still evident in the economic underdevelopment of Caribbean territories and the psychological trauma experienced by descendants of the former slaves; it also cannot be denied that persons of African descent have achieved success in all areas of human endeavour despite the scourge of slavery.
In Trinidad and Tobago, Afro-Trinbagonians continue to excel. From academia to science, sport and culture their strength and perseverance exude.
Today we commemorate the struggle for emancipation and equality made by our African ancestors who knew that the road to freedom and dignity demanded persistent, and unyielding focus and clarity of purpose.
We acknowledge the accomplishments and impact of persons of African descent on the continued development of our Nation.
In so doing, let us also remember that we cannot achieve greatness as a Nation if we remain in the comfort of our “own space”. We have to draw on each other’s talents, skills and strength. We cannot yield under the whip of internal and external challenges. Instead, we will be better able to weather the yoke of economic uncertainty through collaborative effort.
Learning from our history, we must create for each citizen of this country a system of support and protection without regard for lines of separation based on class/colour/gender/economic status or religion.
Let us all declare Emancipation Day 2017 the day we as citizens commit to honouring the memory of our African ancestors by creating a society free from brutality and based on justice, mutual respect and equality.
On behalf of the Government, I extend to each and every citizen of Trinidad and Tobago a safe and happy Emancipation Day.