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Emancipation Day 2023 Message by Prime Minister, The Most Hon. Andrew Holness, ON, PC, MP


Each year on August 1, we are presented with the opportunity to reflect on the heroism of our ancestors whose physical bodies were in shackles but whose minds could not be conquered.

I encourage you today to reflect on their bravery, courage, and indomitable spirit and the heritage of resilience they bestowed on us.

Our ancestors struggled against their dehumanizing existence and treatment and with determination, strength, and dignity, fought to regain the freedom that is their birthright.

The freedom struggle gave rise to our heroes who we today acknowledge.

• Nanny who taught us determination, ingenuity and creativity; Sam Sharpe who taught us about leadership and harnessing the power of our minds;

• Paul Bogle who taught us to stand up against injustice irrespective of whether it impacts us directly;

• Marcus Garvey who taught us self-reliance and self-respect; George William Gordon, who taught us kindness and sacrifice;

• Norman Manley who taught us about advocacy and the virtues of democracy; and;

• Alexander Bustamante who taught us to believe in ourselves to become politically and economically independent.

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