Emancipation Jubilee for Seville Heritage Park on July 31

Story Highlights

  • Jamaicans from all walks of life are expected to converge at the Seville Heritage Park in St. Ann on Monday, July 31 for the annual Emancipation Jubilee, beginning at 8:00 p.m.
  • Jointly organized by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) and Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), this year’s renewal of the event is being held under the theme: ‘Jamaica 55… Mek Wi Keep Jubilee Alive’.
  • Among this year’s engagements are performances by several gold medal winning groups. They include: Bamboo Primary and Junior High School from the host parish, St. Ann; the Port Morant Kumina and Islington cultural groups from St. Thomas and St. Mary respectively; and Windward Road Primary School and Ardenne High School from Kingston and St. Andrew, among others.

Jamaicans from all walks of life are expected to converge at the Seville Heritage Park in St. Ann on Monday, July 31 for the annual Emancipation Jubilee, beginning at 8:00 p.m.

The event, which has been a permanent fixture on the country’s cultural calendar for 20 years, is held to commemorate the memory and contributions of Jamaica’s African ancestors the nation’s growth and development.

Jointly organized by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) and Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), this year’s renewal of the event is being held under the theme: ‘Jamaica 55… Mek Wi Keep Jubilee Alive’.

As is customary, it will highlight Jamaica’s rich culture through traditional dance, music and food.

Among this year’s engagements are performances by several gold medal winning groups. They include: Bamboo Primary and Junior High School from the host parish, St. Ann; the Port Morant Kumina and Islington cultural groups from St. Thomas and St. Mary respectively; and Windward Road Primary School and Ardenne High School from Kingston and St. Andrew, among others.

In addition, stellar performances are also expected by several noted artistes including Ken Boothe, Ernie Smith and Garnet Silk Jr.

The activities will also include the reading, at midnight, of the Emancipation Proclamation, which was first delivered on August 1, 1838. This will be followed by the laying of a wreath at the grave of four African ancestors who were reburied in 1997 at the front of the Seville plantation in St Ann.

Entry to the venue for all persons attending will be free of cost.

Acting Executive Director of the JNHT, Dorrick Gray, told JIS News that the event is a time for retrospection and reflection on the past and how much Jamaica has progressed as a nation.

“We need to remember on August 1, when the freedom of all those persons was sounded. It was one of the glorious days in our history when, for the first time in 400 years, the African ancestors knew they were once again free. No more would their children be working on the plantations…no more would their daughters be slaughtered or beaten on the plantation.

“That day in 1838 was the biggest jubilation in Jamaica among our African ancestors; so we are trying to recreate that both in reading the proclamation and, at the same time, to also enjoy ourselves (through the other slated activities,” he said.

Mr. Gray told JIS News that information about the ancestors will also be shared during the Jubilee to give persons an idea of how they lived and were able to retain their culture through music, dance and the spoken word.

He also encourages patrons to take their enamel mugs to the event as chocolate tea, another fare of Jamaica’s rich diverse culture, will be served.

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