This year we will be celebrating Emancipation Day for the third time on Saba. It has been 160 years since slavery was abolished in the Dutch colonies. Many of us know of the Emancipation Day celebrations across the region and it is with this in mind that we have decided to observe this historic day on Saba. We should never forget the history of our island and know that freedom is not free but that it was paid for by those who came before us.
While it is impossible for us to atone for slavery and the impact it had on our ancestors, it is feasible for us to reflect on the progress we have seen on Saba. Therefore, let us look at how far Saba has advanced, where we all are able to inhabit this beautiful island, the unspoiled Queen, with equal opportunities regardless of color.
Slavery for some may seem a thing of the past, but it is not for people are still held in bondage in different ways in present times, by poverty, incessant wars, and the abuse of those who cannot fight back. We should continue to be informed of the issues many people face even though they may seem worlds away.
Let us rise to the occasion in commemorating this event that would have closed a very painful chapter in our past that many Saban forefathers endured under the system of slavery. As we commemorate this day in history, I want to draw upon the wisdom of Karl Marx “Every emancipation is the restoration of the human world and of human relationships to man himself.”
Happy Emancipation Day!
Island Council member Rolando Wilson