ADHT Bermuda To Host Remembrance Activities

March 9, 2017 | 0 Comments

During the week of 22nd – 26th March 2017, the African Diaspora Heritage Trail [ADHT] Bermuda Foundation will host its annual series of events in commemoration of the United Nations International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Slavery & the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

A spokesperson said, “Although February is designated as Black History Month, the month of March has a number events which are significant in the history of persons of African descent. These include:

  • March 6, 1957 – Ghana’s independence from Britain took place
  • March 21, 1965 – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. leads march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., for voting rights
  • March 25, 1807 – The British Parliament abolished the slave trade following a long campaign against it by Quakers and others

“But in addition to these dates, March is of special significance to the ADHT as they annually commemorate the United Nations International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade on 25th March each year.

“The theme as designated by the United Nations for the 2017 commemoration is: “Recognising the Legacy and Contributions of people of African Descent”. The symbol that the ADHT has chosen to represent this theme is ‘wawa aba’. This is an Akan symbol which means “seed of the wawa tree”. The wawa tree has a very hard seed and thus this is a symbol of hardiness, toughness and perseverance.

“In Akan culture it is a symbol that inspires persons to persevere through hardships. ADHT has chosen this symbol to represent this year’s theme as persons of African descent have had to persevere in order to leave the positive legacy that we have established. The struggle from the slave ship to the White House is a true example of the perseverance of persons of African descent.

“Although the signature event each year is the Commemorative Service at Cobbs Hill Methodist Church, this year we start our activities with the Annual Lecture Series which takes place on Wednesday 22nd March in the Dr. Gordon Memorial Hall on the 2nd floor of the BIU Building. This is a fundraising event and we are pleased to say that the BIU has allowed us to use the facility without charge. Entry is $15 for adults, $5 for students and seniors [65+] will be free.

“Our featured speaker for this year is Dr. Alvin Thompson, Professor Emeritus in the Department of History and Philosophy at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados. Dr. Thompson has an extensive curriculum vitae which is a testament to his knowledge of the history and culture of the African Diaspora.

“He has written extensively in the area, with his most recent book – Visualizing Slavery: Images and Texts, a compendium of pictures and information about the history of persons across the African Diaspora. In addition to being an easy to ‘uncover’ book for anyone interested in the subject, “it is an excellent resource for teachers.” [Dr. L. Simmons, Director of Academics, Bermuda Ministry of Education] Teachers who attend this presentation will be able to receive Professional Development credit.

ADHT Remembrance Bermuda March 2017

“On Friday, 24th March, Dr. Thompson will make a presentation to selected students from our senior school and the Bermuda College in Hallett Hall H100 at the Bermuda College, starting at 1.00pm. Here his focus will be on helping students understand ‘the untold story of slavery’ beyond the enslaved person’s daily work regime.

“Both presentations will be informative as well as visually stimulating.

“On Saturday 25th March, which is the official UN Day of Remembrance, the ADHT will host a Caribbean themed dinner at The Tempest Bistro on Water Street, St. George’s. Tickets for this event will be $75. There will be a reception starting at 6.30pm where persons can meet and greet Dr. Thompson and his wife, Hilda Caisey Thompson, with dinner starting at 7.00pm.

“Dr. Thompson has many Bermudian connections. His wife is Bermudian and two of his children presently live and work in Bermuda. In addition Dr. Thompson taught for a few years at the former Robert Crawford School.

“The final event in this year’s programme is the annual Commemorative Service at Cobbs Hill Methodist Church located on Moonlight Lane, next to the Warwick Workmen’s Club in Warwick.

“The ADHT invites everyone to come and participate in this week of activities. Please contact Maxine Esdaille at maxine@adht.bm for further information or to reserve your tickets for the dinner. You may pay at the door for the lecture. Door prize for the lecture will be a signed copy of Dr. Thompson’s book most recent book: Visualizing Slavery: Images and Texts.”

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