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African Liberation Day meets resistance in Caribbean

Special to the NNPA from the Global Information Network

A day marking the First Conference of Independent States — held in Accra, Ghana, in 1958, and heralding liberation movements and the Organization of African Unity — was celebrated on the continent, in the Caribbean, in Europe and the U.S., May 25-26.

“African Freedom Day,” symbolizes the determination of the people of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation, notes www.africanliberationday.net.

However, this year Caribbean efforts to make May 25 a national public holiday ran into some resistance on the island nation of Dominica.

Participants in a recent Dominica News Online poll voted 417 against to 309 in favor, when asked whether the day should be declared a public holiday.

Lawyer/activist Henry Shillingford, one of the holiday’s advocates, expressed disappointment.

“It’s a very important issue about the holiday because we’re (CARICOM, OECS) African governments, and as I have reminded two prime ministers, both this one (Roosevelt Skerrit) and the one in St Vincent (Dr Ralph Gonsalves), is that they are prime ministers of countries that are predominantly African, and that there is no holiday recognizing Africa in the West Indies.”

The activist, a Rastafarian, has recommended that African Liberation Day be combined with the St. Isidore holiday on May 25. “People could go to church and celebrate Africa,” he suggested.

Meanwhile, the African Union hosted the first-ever Global African Diaspora Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa from May 23-25 under the theme, “Towards the Realization of a United and Integrated Africa and its Diaspora.”

The summit aims to create sustainable partnerships between the African Diaspora and the African continent through a realizable Program of Action; create sustainable dialogue and partnerships; and strengthen Pan-African solidarity for a better Africa and the Diaspora.

Finally, the California Black Agriculture Working group will co-host Africa Day to demonstrate the ongoing contribution of people of African ancestry to the bounty of agriculture excellence in the “Greatest Garden in the World,” the Central Valley of California.

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