The Saint Lucia National Reparations Committee (NRC) and the Cultural Development Foundation will today host a Live Panel Discussion by Zoom on the National Television Network (NTN) from 11am to Midday, on ‘Transatlantic Slavery and Why it must Forever be Remembered and Condemned’.
The main presenter will be prominent Saint Lucian-born UK-based historian, author, poet and researcher on Caribbean and African Languages Dr Morgan Dalphinis, who will address why Slavery ought to be forever remembered and condemned.
Dr Dalphinis, who’s authored many books and series of poems, is the author of “History and Language in Saint Lucia (1654-1915), will also be open to questions from the online audience of viewers and listeners.
The panel is in observance of the United Nations International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition, which emphasizing the need for Chattel Slavery to never be forgotten and always condemned.
NRC Chair Earl Bousquet says, “The NRC is pleased to collaborate with the CDF and the national stakeholder committee organizing Emancipation Month 2022 events to sponsor today’s online zoom event in the spirit of Emancipation Month’s quest to engage more Saint Lucians on issues relating to the true history and legacy of Slavery and its relevance to Saint Lucia and the rest of the Caribbean Community.”
The NRC chair says, “The date August 23 was selected for annual observance, not only by Caribbean nations but the entire worlds, because that was the date in 1791 of the start of the Haitian Revolution that established the world’s first Black Republic in January 1804.”
Bousquet says the date was also chosen because the Haitian Revolution marked the first time Slavery had been outlawed and the first to show that the slave system could have been defeated and outlawed by the enslaved.
The NRC Chair said the Haitian Revolution that started on August 23 “was influenced by the French Revolution of 1789 and in turn influenced several subsequent slave uprisings in the Caribbean and The Americas.
Bousquet says that “24 years ago, the UN called on governments to give appropriate recognition to August 23, but CARICOM governments are obviously still giving it consideration.”
He said another upcoming date of international significance and importance to Saint Lucia is August 31, the UN’s International Day for People of African Descent, which was also recently designated, but not yet fully embraced by regional governments.
The NRC chair says another Live and Zoom panel discussion is also planned for that date, at the same time (11am to12:30) on NTN, with the lead presenter being Ambassador Hon. Dr June Soomer (SLC), CARICOM’s Representative on the UN’s Permanent forum for People of African Descent, a position she was selected for by CARICOM last November.
Dr Soomer is a former Saint Lucia ambassador to CARICOM and the OECS and Secretary General of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS). She also chairs the UWI Open Campus’s governing board.