Diasporian News of Friday, 22 March 2013
Did you know, from 1501 to 1830, four Africans crossed the Atlantic for every one European? This week we celebrate emancipation and remember slavery.
The annual observance of 25 March as the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade serves as an opportunity to honour and remember those who suffered and died at the hands of the brutal slavery system, and to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice today.
This year's theme, Forever Free: Celebrating Emancipation, pays tribute to all those who worked tirelessly to overturn the acceptance of the slave trade and institution of slavery as legitimate and moral.
This year is particularly important with many key anniversaries, including 220 years since France’s General Emancipation decree liberated all slaves in present-day Haiti; 180 years since the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 ended slavery in Canada, the British West Indies and the Cape of Good Hope; and 170 years ago, the Indian Slavery Act of 1843 was signed. Slavery was also abolished 165 years ago in France; 160 years ago in Argentina; 150 years ago in the Dutch colonies; and 125 years ago in Brazil.