African descendants celebrate Maafa Holocaust Memorial Day
Many came out to the Seawall Bandstand yesterday to reflect on the struggles of African slaves in the journey across the Atlantic.
The local descendants of the African people focused on the events of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade that saw the transporting of the millions of African people to the Caribbean and the Americas.
October 12, which is designated as the official day of African Holocaust Memorial Day is observed annually by persons all over the world reflecting on the tribulations of the African race.
The local event which was organized by the African Cultural Development Association (ACDA) at the Bandstand was held in commemoration to the Africans who suffered during the period of slavery and to those of the Diaspora.
Seeking to educate the population about the history of the African people, those at the gathering heard of the trials and tribulations of
the African people from ACDA. The programme was filled with tributes to the fallen and scattered African people.
The congregation acknowledged and highlighted some prominent people of African ancestry while the assembly chanted respect to those who would have contributed to the development and freedom that these African descendants enjoy today.
A ceremony called Sancofa was held. It is one that the African offspring described as “looking back” or a journey to the past. The ceremony which required incantations was a trip to remembering the past. There were tributes to the fallen.
According to one woman who said she came out because she required to learn more about her past and to know her history; described the celebrations as inspirational and uplifting. The woman said that it was a good thing remembering her ancestors since these teachings are not in the schools.
She continued that in order to know where you are going, one must first know where they are coming from.
Maxie Fox, a member of the African association, said that it was the interest of the organization to apply for the day to become a national holiday and that there be a national memorial day. The man said that efforts are being made by ACDA to see the wish become reality.
President Bharrat Jagdeo in a message to the African descendants proclaimed his sympathy. The leader described the 500 years of slavery and their trading business as the most repugnant industry known in the history of humans.
The Guyanese leader also acknowledged and expressed his gratitude to those of African ancestry for the struggle and achievements of the past generations who sacrificed and contributed to the Guyanese population.