Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Happy Emancipation Day!!!!

Today was one of the most exhilarating days that I've ever had here in Trinidad. This whole entire trip was worth it all if only for the Emancipation day parade. Today I was able to take part in an Emancipation day celebration and it was beautiful. Here in Trinidad along with some festivities building up to today, Emancipation day is celebrated with a Kambule, a procession through out Port of Spain. It was absolutely beautiful! This is how I described it in an email to someone today and it fit so I'm not going to just paste it here.

It was amazing, the solidarity, and the love. For this one day we could forget all of what the Colonizers did to try and make us forget our history our people, our heritage, and we were all African again. It was beautiful as far as my eye could see there were tons of Beautiful Black people in African clothing. It was amazing, all you heard was African music and Calypso songs about Africa and the beauty in being Black. The walk was long but beautiful filled with the beautiful beat of the drum. After today I understand more than ever how the drum is the heart beat, because the bass was so loud that I felt the beat in my heart literally and it felt like it was completely in tune with the beating of my heart. It was beautiful! As we were walking I felt like I was apart of a larger community. I felt like I was surrounded by my people and that in the end we will win. I'm trying my best to describe it, but words can't do it justice. The whole day I kept trying to take pictures, record sound, do something to capture this wonderful movement and send it on. I didn't mean to type movement but I decided to leave it because it fits so well, it’s a movement to remember our collective past and celebrate our future.

This celebration was not only for those who were forced out of Africa by the slave trade, but also those that left voluntarily years later and those who still remain there. Because Emancipation day is about remembering our past and healing/restoring ourselves. We all suffered at the hands of colonialism and this is the celebration of our continued struggle against it. I'm trying my best to describe everything I saw and felt and heard, but it’s impossible. Sometime when we were transported from Africa to the various countries we stopped being African, we became American, Trinidadian, Brazilian, Dominican etc, but today we were all one. I saw people of all ages out celebrating; children with their parents and the elderly who could barely walk, but came out to celebrate this wonderful day. Emancipation Day is something everyone needs to experience at least once in their lives, because after it you will never be the same.

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“I remember how being young and black and gay and lonely felt. A lot of it was fine, feeling I had the truth and the light and the key, but a lot of it was purely hell.” ~Audre Lorde