Commissioner of Cultural Affairs Rolando Wilson shared his message on the occasion of Emancipation Day, July 1, which will be observed for a second time in Saba. “This is a significant day, since it shows that we in Saba are in solidarity with our brothers and sisters of the other Dutch territories that had enslaved people who were freed on July 1, 1863. This is a fundamental event that I cannot over-emphasise its importance. For this reason, I am thrilled that as a territory we have opted to commemorate Emancipation Day,” he said.
Wilson quoted Nelson Mandela: “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” Wilson said this mirrored the precise meaning of Emancipation Day for the Saba people.
“Our mindset as a people on our second commemoration of Emancipation Day has to be one where we seek to improve the lives of our people so that nothing that we do in Saba resembles enslavement. We need to be emancipated to the point where, in Saba and globally, we ensure no new forms of slavery are introduced, such as human trafficking and injustices,” Wilson said.
“Barack Obama, former President of the United States, once said, ‘Our responsibility as citizens is to address the inequalities and injustices that linger and we must secure our birth-right freedoms for all people.’ We are well aware that achieving equality and justice is not always easy, but we have to work together to ensure we are always free from any traces of biases and imbalances. As human beings we are responsible for each other irrespective of colour, class or creed.”
The Daily Herald.