The Emancipation “Road to Freedom” exhibition, depicting the journey of Africans through enslavement to full freedom, is now opened to the public at the St. James Parish Library in Montego Bay.
Established and mounted by the St. James office of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), the exhibition was officially opened Thursday (July 29), at a ceremony attended by persons from Montego Bay’s education, business and cultural communities.
Addressing the ceremony, Acting Director of Field Services at the JCDC, Marjorie Layden-Vernon, said that despite the harshness and atrocities of the 300 year journey of enslaved Africans, the country benefited because the slaves took their culture with them.
Participants at the official launch of the Emancipation ‘Road to Freedom’ Exhibition at the St. James Parish Library on Thursday, July 29. The exhibition is mounted by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, (JCDC).
“History revealed that the Africans took their various cultures with them, and I believe that this was one of the biggest achievement and benefit that we have out of this journey of the slaves to freedom,” she said.
She added that by learning the European way of life, the slaves were also able to mix their African culture with it producing “what we now know and enjoy as the rich Jamaican culture”.
“The language, food, music, dress and religion, making us who and what we are today,” Mrs. Layden-Vernon noted.
She said that, today, Jamaica stood as an independent nation because of the many struggles of the ancestors.
St. James Festival Queen 2010, Tashane Grizzel, declaring the Emancipation ‘Road to Freedom’ Exhibition at the St. James Parish Library in Montego Bay officially opened.
“I therefore ask you all, as you go through the upcoming periods of celebration, reflect seriously on the past and share with one another the cost of the journey, and look ahead and decide our own responsibilities of maintaining a free and independent Jamaica,” Mrs. Layden-Vernon pointed out.
Miss St. James (JCDC) Festival Queen for 2010, Tashane Grizzel, declared the exhibition officially opened.