Jamaicans Must Unite to Overcome Adversities Says Minister Grange

Photo: Contributed Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, addresses the Seville Emancipation Jubilee held at Seville Heritage Park, St Ann, from July 31 into Emancipation Day, August 1.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Hon. Olivia Grange is calling for Jamaicans to give recognition to those who led the struggle against slavery and united as they did to overcome adversities.
  • She was speaking at the Seville Emancipation Jubilee held at Seville Heritage Park, St Ann, from Sunday, July 31 into Emancipation Day on Monday, August 1.
  • Minister Grange also commended the JNHT and sponsors, whom she credited for the growth of the event over its 19 years.

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Hon. Olivia Grange is calling for Jamaicans to give recognition to those who led the struggle against slavery and united as they did to overcome adversities.

“I call on every Jamaican here… at home and across the diaspora to give due recognition to the strength and resolve of our ancestors who refused to accept the status of slavery. Our past was filled with unimaginable atrocities, but it is a past of which we are not ashamed. It is a past of which we are justly proud because united we stood. We overcame. And this is a lesson for every young Jamaican boy and girl,” Minister Grange stated.

She was speaking at the Seville Emancipation Jubilee held at Seville Heritage Park, St Ann, from Sunday, July 31 into Emancipation Day on Monday, August 1. The event was organised by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) under the distinguished patronage of the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, observing the theme ‘United and Free…What a Jubilee’.

Minister Grange also commended the JNHT and sponsors, whom she credited for the growth of the event over its 19 years. Noting the accomplishment of the agency in the preservation of the Seville archaeological site, Ms Grange said Jamaica can be proud of the Trust’s role in honouring our African ancestors and in the establishment of a direct link with Africa.

In 1997, the Trust was instrumental in the identification and return of one of the four skeletal remains of slaves found on the property (which along with others found in the United States) were repatriated to Elmina, Ghana, through ‘The Door of no Return’ from which many Africans were shipped to the western world and into slavery.

“History was rewritten then… some did return through this so-called ‘The Door of no Return’,” Minister Grange pointed out, as she implored Jamaicans never to take for granted the freedom now enjoyed because of the hard-won victories of our ancestors.

“As we continue to celebrate we must remember that we are from those painful experiences and today we must give thanks for blessings which have helped to literally define us as Jamaicans – blessings which had their genesis in the struggles of those who went before us to afford us this iconic heritage of which we are proud,” Minister Grange added.

The cultural event also included the participation of Minister of Labour and Social Security and Member of Parliament for North East St Ann, the Hon. Shahine Robinson; the Most Honourable Juliet Holness, wife of the Prime Minister; Minister of Justice,  Hon Delroy Chuck; State Minister for National Security, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Junior; and Member of Parliament for St Ann North East, Ms Lisa Hanna, who represented the Leader of the Opposition.

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