Dominica joins the rest of the world in celebrating Africa Day today.
Africa Day (formerly African Freedom Day and African Liberation Day) is the annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organization of African Unity on 25 May 1963. It is celebrated in various countries on the African continent, as well as around the world.
Member of the Dominica Reparations Committee, Meritta Hyacinth, said during a statement, that there is so much to celebrate in the midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
“We should be indeed elated to celebrate Africa Day today. There is so much to celebrate even in the midst of this pandemic, so much to celebrate in Dominica as we see our country and the leadership displayed by our people and the government to minimize our Covid-19 numbers,” she said. “So much to celebrate as we see our fellow brothers and sisters on the frontline, others coming up with innovative solutions to serve the people of Dominica.”
Hyacinth continued, “Even our teachers find ways to reach our future and the many who have tilled the soil, fish or rear livestock to feed the nation.”
She said Africa Day calls for Dominicans to understand that “Africa and we, as a people of African descent, unity can get rid of remaining traces of the colonization and apartheid.”
Hyacinth said that hidden or not, colonialism still exists and such cooperation and embracing by its people can break it.
She called on the general public to recognize Africa Day and to understand our historical link to the motherland.
“Your recognition is by first embracing that you are a people of African descent, then recognizing the achievement of people in our country who despite the odds contributed to building our nation, show appreciation and respect for our intangible and tangible history and heritage,” Hyacinth noted.
She explained that children can be taught about the heritage, history and cultural practices.
“We don’t have to allow our historical architecture to become so dilapidated and wait until it has disappeared…” Hyacinth argued, adding that Africa Day calls for that appreciation of shared history and understanding the concept of African Diaspora.
“Though many of us have never seen the motherland, our land and the continent are the victims of colonialism and have been struggling for justice to repair the damages brought about by the most horrific crimes against humanity,” she stated.
Hyacinth believes that acknowledging Africa is “indeed” what unites us.
The audio of the Hyacinth’s full statement is listed below.