Date: Tue, 13 Jul 1999 21:59:01 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: !*Emancipation Day in Ghana
Emancipation Day in Ghana
By Sonny Carson, NY Daily Challenge
13 July 1999
The second annual Emancipation Day celebration will take place in Accra,
Cape Coast and Assin Manso, Ghana from July 24 to Aug. 1. This year's
theme is "Emancipation: Our Heritage, Our Strength" and the sub-theme is
"Building Africa's Civilization for Eternity."
The climax of this year's celebration will be the commissioning of the
Monument of Return, which is to be erected on the tomb of the enslaved
African ancestors returned to Ghana _last year in memory of all Africans
who lost their lives during the slave trade.
This monument is also designed to immortalize the emancipation struggles
of all African peoples and to represent our humanity and quest for freedom,
dignity and social justice.
On July 26, the grand opening of the Emancipation Day celebration, one
of this century's most historically significant cultural events will
occur. At 5 p.m., one million people will participate in a reenactment
of a slave march, which is __organized by the Ghana Actors Guild. It
will begin at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle and proceed through the streets
to the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum. This march is an event that should have
a large African American attendance. So, my Message to the People this
time is when are you making arrangements to be side by side with me as
The Monument of Return is a memorable vehicle because after this year,
hundreds of thousands of Black people from the diaspora will be making
the trip to view it.
This international commemoration of our enslaved ancestors began here in
New York, from the sabotaging of our plans to transport to Africa
remains from the African Burial Ground in downtown Manhattan to the
discovery under the Brooklyn Navy Yard of our ancestors, some of whom
had already been moved to the Cyprus Hills Cemetery. As a result of
months of face-to-face confrontations and negotiations with the
government, I reclaimed the body of my own lost ancestor and great-great
uncle, Samuel Carson, a Navy seaman who had escaped South Carolina in
the aftermath of the Denmark Vesey rebellion from the plantation where
my ancestors were enslaved.
We have continuously demanded that the government, the Navy in
particular, make an attempt to locate the descendants of some of these
brothers who have lain unnoticed at that site since the War of 1812
through the Mexican American War, the Civil War and the Spanish American
In the weeks following this Message to the People, the Challenge Group's
Afro Times newspaper has offered to publish the names of these unnoticed
and unclaimed interred heroes. I want to remind all of us that just as
we gave every effort we could muster to make the soldiers and sailors
comfortable in the wars that occurred in our lifetime, I think we owe
these brothers at least the obligation to try to locate their families
so that they can be claimed at last. We owe them at least that and the
Navy and the government of the United States owes them even more.
If any of you discover that your family names are on the list in the
Afro Times this Saturday and you believe you can prove that one of the
persons listed is a member your family, please give me a call. My
numbers are (718) 723-5489 and 735-4708.
I'm sure that we will get the kind of response that will enable us to be
proud to show our children that we _took care of our ancestors.
And as we remember our ancestors, let us not forget one recent ancestor
who sacrificed his life for the liberation of Black people. In
commemoration of El Hajj Malik Shabazz, we will celebrate the 14th
anniversary of the naming of Malcolm X Boulevard in Brooklyn this Friday
(July 16) from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. During this observance, Malcolm X
Boulevard will be closed to traffic. For information, call the numbers