Happy Emancipation Day
"Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds." — Bob Marley Today, August 1st commerates The Slavery Abolition Act 1833, which abolished slavery throughout the British Empire (with the exceptions "of the Territories in the Possession of the East India Company", the "Island of Ceylon" and "the Island of Saint Helena"; the exceptions were elim
inated in 1843), came into force the following year, on 1 August 1834. Only slaves below the age of six were freed. Enslaved people older than six years of age were redesignated as "apprentices" and required to work, 40 hours per week without pay, as part of compensation payment to their former owners. Full emancipation was finally achieved at midnight on 31 July 1838. We celebrate this milestone as Jamaicans despite the hypocrisy it represents on the part of the British who failed to deliver on her promise of freedom until roughly 5 years later. As Marley said, the ongoing work of emancipation is up to us. We must continue to free ourselves from the shackles of white supremacy and the cultural, religious, legal and political heritage of settler colonialism that still incarcerates our people. Free your mind today!