Emancipation Day is celebrated in many former British colonies in the Caribbean and areas of the United States on various dates in observance of the emancipation of slaves of African origin. It is also observed in other areas in regard to the abolition of serfdom or other forms of servitude.
The Slavery Abolition Act 1833 ended slavery in the British Empire on August 1, 1834. Emancipation Day is widely observed in the British West Indies during the first week of August. In many Caribbean countries the Emancipation Day celebration is a part of Carnival, as the Caribbean Carnival takes place at that time.
The Emancipation Statue seen here is the work of Barbados’ best known sculptor Karl Broodhagen and symbolises the breaking of the chains of slavery at Emancipation.
Slavery, abolished in 1834, was followed by a 4-year apprenticeship period where free men continued to work a 45-hour week without pay in exchange for living in the tiny huts provided by the plantation owners.
Freedom from slavery was celebrated in 1838 at the end of the apprentice period with over 70,000 Barbadians of African descent taking to the streets with the Barbados folk song:
“Lick an Lock-up Done Wid, Hurray fuh Jin-Jin (Queen Victoria).
De Queen come from England to set we free
Now Lick an Lock-up Done Wid, Hurray fuh Jin-Jin ”
Many Barbadians refer to the statue as Bussa, the name of a slave who helped inspire a revolt against slavery in Barbados in 1816.
Antigua, Anguilla, Bahamas, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, St. Vincent, Turks & Caicos, & Trinidad & Tobago all celebrate Emancipation Day.
Happy Emancipation Day from the 360krew