Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, is appealing for Jamaicans to use the Emancipation period to acknowledge the immense sacrifice and contribution of the African ancestors.
“Here we are celebrating a culture that is distinctly ours, Jamaican, (but) was influenced largely by what is distinctly African and that survived the years of enslavement.
“Our ancestors, in their own relentless ways, ensured that what was culturally endemic to them remained intact in a society that was alien to them,” she noted.
Ms. Grange was speaking at the recent launch of the 2017 Emancipation Jubilee at Jewel resort in Ocho Rios, St. Ann.
The Minister called on Jamaicans to work to build a better nation.
“Let us create moments of celebration. Let us take back this nation. We owe it to ourselves, our grandchildren. We are going to be the ancestors that they talk about,” she said.
The Minister further called on the youth to be leaders and to drive the country’s development.
“To all the young people here today, we are depending on you to be nation changers, to foster a culture in which we are not defined by what others say we are, but by who we say we are. Be an example to the rest of the world. Yes you can do it,” she said.
The Emancipation Jubilee will be held under the theme ‘Jamaica 55… Mek Wi Keep Jubilee Alive!’.
The festivities, staged by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT), will take place on July 31 at the Seville Heritage Park.
It will feature displays and performances by various traditional folk groups as well as popular artistes.