May 20, 2009 — In the coming days, people throughout the Virgin Islands will unite with others around the globe to celebrate African Liberation Day.
The celebration was founded in 1958 to help unify people of African descent across the world. Here in the territories, events are scheduled in St. Thomas and St. Croix to mark the 51-year-old observance.
Activities, which include music, roundtable discussions and a memorial walk, are open to everyone. But, event organizer Dr. Chenzira Kahina said she hoped to especially reach out to Virgin Islands youth.
This is a celebration that historically has had its foundation in the youth, she said.
There are so many distractions from what we are supposed to be doing, we need some positive reinforcement, organizer Dara Monita added.
African Liberation Day was founded by Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana, as a way to celebrate African history and culture.
Here in the territory, Dr. Kahina said its been marked for more than 20 years. However, it has usually been honored privately, with few large or unified celebrations.
On St. Croix, the Yucca May 20 Celebration started the observance Wednesday night in Frederiksted, with young presenters speaking on African liberation. An African dance presentation will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Claude O. Markoe Elementary School cafeteria. Thursday an African dance presentation is scheduled. A youth roundtable discussion will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the Fort Frederik Museum. Sunday, a march and community roundtable will begin at 4 p.m. at Frederiksted Beach. Monday, a memorial Ancestral Hike will take place beginning at 8 a.m., with participants meeting at Per Ankh Institute at 7:30.
On St. Thomas, a forum will be held at 6 p.m. Friday at the UVI Chase Auditorium. The African Liberation Day Walk and Rally will be held at 8 a.m. Saturday, with participants traveling from Addelita Cancryn to Brewers Bay.
Kahina and Monita said all of this weekends events are free and open to the public.
Just come, Monita said. Well wait for you, said Kahina.
Further information about the holiday can be obtained on the web.. readers can learn more about local events by calling 774-1318.
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