Marin Coleman made some comments to announce a series of public discussions that she and the U-Bad Educational Foundation will host to remember July 22nd and 23rd of 1919.

Historical records say that the African Belizeans were enduring severe oppression under the colonial system of governance in British Honduras, which eventually became Belize. They returned home after World War 1 after traveling abroad to fight in the war on behalf of the British Crown. But, the colonial leadership rewarded their patriotism by forcing them to perform grueling duties with fewer provisions, poor sleeping quarters, amenities, and basic necessities. The social inequity caused those soldiers and their supporters to strongly protest against the oppression based on an undercurrent of racism and classism.

That spirit of resistance to injustice is what the UEF wants to honor in a series of Webinars and events scheduled for the next four weekends. This afternoon, U-Bad's YaYa Marin Coleman explained a bit more via Zoom:

YaYa Marin Coleman - Chairperson, UBAD Educational Foundation (UEF)
"July 22nd and 23rd, 1919, hundreds of Belizean African working class people rose up against British Colonial rule. These were people who are politically aware and organized. The singular narrative has been that they were returning veterans from World War One. But when you read the narrative, it says clearly men, women, and children, and leading up to 1919, there were people coming out of legal, physical liberation from enslavement, who were suffering some of the same things that 103 years later their descendants, African people, are still suffering, recognizing that the system: the judicial system, the legislative system, the middle-class African people were not representing the interests of working-class people. The people rose up. And so it's absolutely important for us to look back to get the wisdom of our elders to use today. And so here we are, 103 years later, with a colonial system, now by neo-colonialists, such as the Belizeans in the House of Parliament, who are saying to us that the Constitutional Commission, for example, is a people's process, which is a lie. It is not a people's process because it was a people's process; the people will be responsible for the process. This is a confrontation for power shifts. And so, it's important to remember what our African ancestors did and how bold they were in facing power and to learn from them. So, UEF, besides having two fliers, is also hosting a series of Saturday morning reasonings for one hour for the next four Saturday mornings to send to African women who are oftentimes erased and not given the respect that they have earned. When it comes to organizing and consciousness-raising, women have been at the forefront, women. Oftentimes the stories are written by European males. And then they with their patriarchy and their prejudices and biases."

The first event takes place tomorrow at 10, and that conversation will be broadcast on KREM TV and Radio.

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