Second Maroon Day to honor Chief Jacko

The event will be held at the Old Market Square
The event will be held at the Old Market Square

It was a place of execution over 200 years ago but this Sunday (July 12) it will become a place of commemoration and celebration as second Maroon Day is observed.

On that day the Old Market Square will resonate with the sounds of the conch shells and bells to be followed by a “moment of outrage,” as opposed to a minute of silence, to bear witness to those “brave African men and women who took up arms against slavery and the capitalist system, and who were executed at the same location,” according to organizers.

The Second Maroon Day, dubbed “Tribute to Jacko,” organized by the ’12th of July Movement’ will pay tribute to the valiant Maroon Chief who was killed on July 12, 1814 and who was considered the most important Maroon chiefs on the island.

The event will begin from 4:00 pm with poetry, power talks, drumming, chanting, libations and the production of a short play called “Your Time Is Done Now.”

The play, directed by Alwin Bully and written by Polly Pattullo, will present the original evidence from the Maroon trials of 1814.

“Historians believe that these trials provide rare examples of the voices of the enslaved. The event will end with Nyabingi chants and drums and a libation ceremony at the well, which, it was said, was tainted by the blood of the executed,” organizers say.

The 12th of July Movement was founded Bernard Wiltshire, Alwin Bully, Dr. Irving Pascal and Derick Rah Peters, among others to raise public awareness about the Maroons of Dominica.

The group said Jacko has been chosen as the Maroon hero to represent all those who fought to undermine and destroy the institution of slavery and to provide liberation and self-determination for the people.

Wiltshire said they believe that the Maroons were a “significant part of our history which has been suppressed or ignored as incompatible with the maintenance of the power of the slaving interests which has survived in various ways to this day.”

“We believe that a true understanding of the Maroon part of our history can help us free ourselves from mental slavery and release new creative energies of our people,” he noted.

The group said its main objective is to lobby for the recognition of the 12th July as a National Day – to be known as Maroon Day – and raise public awareness about the Maroons of Dominica especially among the younger generation, to campaign for the inclusion of Maroon history into the national curriculum, “to better free ourselves from mental slavery, to restore the Old Market Square into a national monument and Maroon information centre; and for its well to become a symbol of the Maroons’ struggle and sacrifice.”

The group also aims to develop Maroon sites such as Jacko Steps, as prime heritage tourism sites.

Maroon Chief Jacko was born in Africa but was transported to Dominica in the late 1760’s.

He escaped from the Beau Bois Estate in Castle Comfort and established a camp on a plateau near the present day village of Belles.

His camp was one of the main targets of a massive offensive launched by the British during the Second Maroon War in 1812.

He was eventually surrounded and killed after living in the forest for over 40 years.

maroon day flyer

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8 Comments

  1. DA Bantu
    July 10, 2015

    I doh like the flyer’s idea of Jacko….. too whiteish…comb up hair etc…come better than that next year. Apart from that, five stars. :wink:

  2. sold
    July 10, 2015

    In spite of the struggles of our kalinago and black freedom fighters, our people are even in more bondage. A new kind of slavery, a new kind of colonialism has enveloped our Dominica.

    Thanks to a corrupt group with their agenda of get-rich-fast, while in Public office, the country is being sold – our land given free, secret deals, passport selling black-is-white (a few making millions), , agriculture neglected, rural poverty on the increase, the majority catching hell.

    The consistent fight for equality, freedom, to preserve the land for generations to come, that was the character of Jacko, Bala, Congoree, Pharcelle, Angelique, Walashiwala. That is our history. They bravely fought against colonial powers, Gave their lives for liberty. They loved their land dearly.

    Today, children of our forefather, Black sons and daughters, carve out 15 acres of land from our Cabrits National Park,, give that to foreigner Gange Dev. Plus our passports to sell. Jacko betrayed Big Time

  3. grell
    July 10, 2015

    Yet we still live in a capitalist state bein run by Roosevelt Skerrit.

  4. Annon
    July 10, 2015

    Respect is due to the organizers, a VERY important day. This sholuld always be used as a platform in the thrust for REPARATIONS!
    We see queen of england and entire family smiling away, yea right… riding on the wave of misery, plundering, enslaving what was at the time one-half of humanity. Today we still see them smiling away? The Jews, Japan, Japanese Americans and their generations have enjoyed and been empowered by reparations, but yet the queen and family are still smilling in the face of Africans. That day WILL come, and it has to come for the good of Mankind!

  5. LawieBawie
    July 10, 2015

    Quite interesting I wish that I could be home for that. Thanks also for the little history lesson DNO.

  6. Consciousness
    July 9, 2015

    Brothers well done. Keep it up. I shall be there. We must get the students involved, as I see no reference to students in the movement. More students must be encouraged in socially responsible leadership over the death grip held on our youth by drugs and idleness. It is symptomatic of the miseducation of the Dominican people that so few have had the decency to commend this effort as they do on other matters related to scandal or bacchanal.

  7. silversliver
    July 9, 2015

    My mother had told me of a patch of flowers in the north, close to her father’s garden, that her father had said was a marker of a mass grave where a number of maroons who were caught and killed were buried. Does anyone have similar stories or anecdotes?

  8. Shameless
    July 9, 2015

    I have been to Jacko Flat and walked the Jacko steps. To move from Beau Bois to that area at that time in history was quite a feat. This shows the resilience and determination of our fore fathers in shaping our future which is today. Sadly, some of us have not learnt the lessons from their legacy and so we allow others to keep us in mental slavery.

    Assertive, NOT Aggressive! :twisted:

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