EMANCIPATION DAY SPEECH

THE PAN-AFRIKAN LIBERATOR

Agitate until we create a stable society that benefits all our people.

Instigate the nation until we remedy the injustices of society.

Motivate our people to set a meaningful path for the coming generations.

Educate our people to free our minds and develop an Africentric consciousness.

THE VOICE FOR AN INDEPENDENT MONTSERRAT

Published by Chedmond Browne, P.O. Box 197, Plymouth, Montserrat Phone: 809-491-6962 FAX: 809-491-6335 >


Radio Address given by Chedmond Browne on "EMANCIPATION DAY." AUGUST 2001

Greetings All!!

On August 1st 1834, 167 years ago today, after many generations of continuous struggle, the enslaved Afrikan masses who laboured for their masters on many estates and plantations were supposedly set free.

I say supposedly, because, the Act of 1834 changed on paper, the name slave, to apprentice labourer.

We were told that we were free in our hearts, we wished to be free, so on August 1st 1834, our oral history tells us that we threw away our hoes, we threw away our pick axes, we threw away our cutlasses. We threw away all those things that tied us to our masters’ estates and plantations and we ran up Happy Hill praising god for answering our prayers.

It did not take us long to discover that a change of name, on paper, no matter how well meaning and legal it appears, did not change the conditions, or the attitudes and perceptions of the estate and plantation owners, to the Afrikan masses that they had just supposedly set free. So, the period of freedom and celebration quickly returned to slavery, slightly reformed and given a new name.

For the next 118 years, the Afrikan masses who were now supposedly emancipated struggled continuously to change their condition. They struggled to change the attitude and perception of those who benefited from keeping them tied to their places of labour.

In 1952, their struggles and perseverance was rewarded.

In 1952, 118 years after so-called emancipation, the advent of Adult Suffrage took place. The Afrikan masses, supposedly emancipated in 1834, finally won the right to vote.

In 1952 the Afrikan masses, for the first time, would all have a say, in determining their own destiny.

In 1952, with one heart and one mind, the majority of the Afrikan masses, went to the voting booths, and voted for five of their own to speak for them, to represent them, and to lead them along the Path towards Self Determination.

That was our last great leap forward, in our continued struggle, for Emancipation and Self Determination.

I give you this brief history, on this day, so that we can see where we came from, where we have reached, and just how far we still have to go, to attain the hopes and aspirations that come with emancipation.

The path set by our ancestors during slavery, the path set by our grandparents in 1952, has once again been changed. Why? Because power, gives up nothing, without demand. Why? Because power rewards its servants well. Why? Because power, once established will not let go of control, until it is forced to do so.

We presently find ourselves in a situation, where the same power structure that our ancestors and our grandparents struggled to remove, and replace, still binds us with its physical, mental economic and spiritual shackles.

We presently find ourselves in a situation, where laws are being written and acts are being passed, supposedly, once again, in our best interest.

We presently find ourselves in a situation, where faithful servants of the system, well rewarded with the trappings of honour and salaries, serve that system loyally.

We presently find ourselves in a situation, where the masses once again need leaders to represent them, and set us back on the path that the power structure and its loyal servants are leading us away from.

On this 1st of August 2001, the masses of poor and seemingly powerless People need to see, that those who serve the system, are not operating in our best interest.

The masses of the People, must recognise, that no one can serve two masters.

One either serves the People, or one serves a system that is designed to maintain a status quo and oppress the masses.

If true emancipation is ever to be achieved, the People must unite with, and empower those leaders, who show them from day to day, that our ancestors did not sacrifice in vain, and that their hopes and aspirations will be achieved.

On this so-called "emancipation day", I say to you, the Path to true emancipation, will only be achieved through Self Determination.

C. Browne, Montserrat Nationalist


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