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  • Jamaicans must take an active interest in the history of emancipation and pay homage to those who fought for our freedom, says Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller.
  • The Prime Minister said Jamaicans need to earnestly reflect on the true meaning and significance of Emancipation Day and the brutality and wickedness of slavery.
  • The Prime Minister encouraged Jamaicans to visit a monument and acquaint themselves with the records of the fight for freedom at the National Library of Jamaica.

Jamaicans must take an active interest in the history of emancipation and pay homage to those who fought for our freedom, says Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller.

In a message marking the 176th anniversary of the emancipation from enslavement, the Prime Minister said Jamaicans need to earnestly reflect on the true meaning and significance of Emancipation Day and the brutality and wickedness of slavery as we remember the tenacity of purpose, the resistance, the resilience and the indomitable will of the slaves.

Recounting some of the horrific events our ancestors endured, Prime Minister Simpson Miller said  “I can only imagine the delight of our forebears who on August 1, 1838, could say, like Martin Luther King Jr.’s Civil Rights’ speech, “Free at Last, Free at Last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.”

“On this Emancipation Day, I urge Jamaicans to “take a moment to recall the sacrifices that led us to this day,” and consider spending the day in a manner that will bring honour to our ancestors and the local and regional activists who could not enter the British Parliament to press their claim to freedom,” Prime Minister Simpson Miller said.

The Prime Minister encouraged Jamaicans to visit a monument and acquaint themselves with the records of the fight for freedom at the National Library of Jamaica as a means of honouring the memory of those who bled and died, sacrificed and struggled so that we could be free.

As a people, it is the ability to overcome obstacles and determination to survive which defines us and “irrespective of our lineage Jamaicans are resilient, capable, determined and strong,” the Prime Minister said.

Emancipation Day Message 2014 by Prime Minister the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller