Thousands of Guyanese turned out to the National Park, yesterday, to pay tribute to their ancestors as they celebrated the 174th anniversary of the abolition of slavery at the African Cultural Development Association (ACDA)’s 16th Emancipation Festival, held under the theme, “”Reclaiming our rights through unified purpose”.
The tone was particularly somber and respectful as the organisers essentially stood in solidarity with Lindeners, with a banner hung in front of the stage that read, “ACDA mourns the death of the Linden Martyrs.”
Earlier in the day, various booths that showcased the history of the African people were displayed by groups and organizations that took part in the occasion.
One such booth was organized by the US Embassy. It highlighted many outstanding African Americans.
The aroma of a variety of traditional African dishes filled the air, while rhythmic drumming and pulsating steel pan music entertained the crowd as many swayed gracefully as they moved around to seek out intricate art pieces on display.
There was a delay with respect to the cultural show, which begun until 16:00 hrs yesterday. Those attending also had a bit of a hassle getting tickets to get into the National Park tarmac where the show was taking place. Some persons were initially told to pay $300 to gain entry to the area but as the masses came the price automatically increased to $400.
As the show commenced drumming and performances of song and dance were also executed by numerous groups. The award-winning Jamaican dance group Ascot performed four pieces while a Surinamese vocal group recited African folk songs in Dutch. The Hebrew family of Guyana and the Guyana soiree Band also participated in the event.
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