Emancipation Day is August 1st

Posted By: Marty

Emancipation Day is August 1st - 07/03/21 11:18 AM

Emancipation Day - National Call for Events and Community Actions to be included in Calendar of Events

Emancipation Day is August 1st, and NICH wants to put together a calendar of events for it. Let them know if you're planning an event.

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Posted By: Marty

Re: Emancipation Day is August 1st - 07/27/21 11:09 AM

As we approach Emancipation Day 2021, we are proud to introduce for the first time a video series in highlighting the origins and significance for the National Commemoration of Emancipation Day in our country. Within this first video we will be exploring, what is Emancipation Day? and how it came about. We look forward to any feedback or suggestions to add to the overall growth and development of the series.

Museum of Belize

Posted By: Marty

Re: Emancipation Day is August 1st - 07/28/21 11:03 AM

Emancipation Day 2021 - Calendar of Events & Community Actions

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Posted By: Marty

Re: Emancipation Day is August 1st - 07/29/21 10:43 AM

A good old-fashioned exhibit is going up at the Museum Building in Belmopan on the occasion of Emancipation Day (August 1). It's entitled "The Documentary Heritage of Slavery and Emancipation in Belize." You will be able to see it by emailing [email protected] or better 2 p.m. tomorrow we will be sending out the link to a #virtualstorymap of the exhibit. You will be able to view its contents in the comfort of your home or on your phone or computer.

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Posted By: Marty

Re: Emancipation Day is August 1st - 07/30/21 10:57 AM

In commemoration of Emancipation Day 2021, the Institute for Social & Cultural Research and the Belize Archives & Records Service are pleased to present a virtual story map on The Documentary Heritage of Slavery and Emancipation in Belize.

We invite all Belizeans to engage constructively with these documentary sources of our nation's shared past.

In August the physical exhibit will be made available for viewing by appointment at the NICH Museum Building in Belmopan. If you would like a presentation on Slavery and Emancipation for your organization kindly contact us at [email protected] or 822-3302.

Click below to see the virtual story map


Did you know On August 1st, 1838 Slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire?

On January 11th, 2021 the Government of Belize announced that Belize would join its sister Nations of the English Speaking Caribbean in the commemoration of Emancipation Day. This decision was made possible through the lobbying efforts of organizations like the UBAD Educational Foundation (UEF) as well as other aware groups and individuals.

Emancipation Day will fall on Sunday, August 1st, 2021, and will be observed as a Holiday on Monday, August 2nd, 2021
Posted By: Marty

Re: Emancipation Day is August 1st - 07/30/21 06:29 PM

Emancipation Day 2021 Address
Hon. Francis Fonseca,
Minister of Education, Culture, Science & Technology

Posted By: Marty

Re: Emancipation Day is August 1st - 07/31/21 10:13 AM

A brief history of the significance of emancipation by history lecturer
Posted By: Marty

Re: Emancipation Day is August 1st - 08/01/21 12:11 PM


As the clock counted down to midnight on July 31st. 183 years ago, thousands of enslaved Africans waited patiently in British Honduras and the British Commonwealth as the planet turned slowly and midnight swept through the Americas moving West one British protectorate at a time. For the enslaved Africans in British Honduras, they would have to wait the longest since British Honduras was the farthest West of the Caribbean British Commonwealth. As they sat patiently waiting, they must have thought about what had transpired 114 years since the first enslaved Africans were brought to British Honduras. For them, the future was uncertain, but they must have been happy to finally be in control of their destiny once and for all.

On 1 August 1834, slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire. As a condition, enslavers were compensated for their loss of "property". On the other hand, nothing was given to the enslaved population, roughly 1,923 persons in Belize at the time. Instead, the new law stated that all previously enslaved persons were to work for free as apprentices for their former enslavers. The apprenticeship period was initially to last six years but was later shortened to four years, ending in 1838.

Alexander Henderson, a Baptist Pastor describes the Eve of Emancipation on 31 July 1838: "A little before twelve, I went down and found the place filled with people and a greater proportion of slaves. I laid my watch on the table, sitting down silently till twelve when I rose telling them that slavery was no more with them. Then we all fell on our knees and afterwards rose to sing...Gladness dwelt on every countenance." On 1 August 1838, full emancipation was in effect in British Honduras.

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Before dwelling on the story of Native Agency, or how God in His providence raised up men right in Belize, “who should be able to teach others,” we shall in this chapter refer to an ever-memorial event – the emancipation of the much injured slaves, on the first of August, 1838. We must not forget that the Baptist in Belize, like the Baptist in Jamaica, were ever loud in their denunciation of slavery.

The writer has frequently heard it said by some of the older inhabitants of the Colony that the slaves in British Honduras had fared better than the slaves in the West Indies, that they were treated more like servants. Perhaps so, and for the following reason, explained in a letter written by George Hyde, Esq., a leading merchant, mahogany cutter and slave owner of Belize, dated as far back as 1825. He says, “As for punishments or ill-usage, you are aware (if ever so desired) we dare not inflict it, so easy is their escape beyond British limits.”

While they were rejoicing in Jamaica and other west India Island, the great event was not unheeded in Belize. Mr. Henderson wrote the Home Committee as follows: “While the ungodly Negroes were celebrating the day in riotous mirth, though without violence, and the late slave-holder was solacing himself with thoughts of compensation, the Mission Church had its method of noticing this important victory of right over might, and of principles over covetousness. The Liberated Christians desired to recognize the hand of God in their deliverance. At the quiet hour of midnight the wide folding doors of our place of worship sent fort their blaze of illumination, and as the last particles were dropping from slavery’s glass the victims of injustice sought the house of God, to render praise and to spend the first hour of freedom in His worship. Oh, it was a solemn season! A little before twelve, I went down and found the place filled with people and the greater proportion slaves. I laid my watch on the table, sitting down quietly till twelve, when I rose, telling them that slavery was no more with them. Then we all fell on our knees and afterwards rose to sing. Oh, what hearty singing! A member, lately a slave, prayed. Again we sang. Another prayed, and again we sang, and continued till after one. Gladness dwelt on every countenance.”

In the afternoon of that auspicious day the scholars were regaled with tea and cakes by the liberated slaves, who alone contributed to the expense. More than 200 children were assembled, feasting and suitably addressed. In the evening there was a meeting for worship which was numerously attended. Mr. Henderson preached an appropriate sermon, and afterwards entertained he teachers and many of he friends of the Mission at his own house.

Thus ended the ever-memorable day of the first of August, 1838.
Posted By: Marty

Re: Emancipation Day is August 1st - 08/02/21 10:35 AM

Former European colonies in the Caribbean and areas of the United States on various dates to commemorate the emancipation of slaves of African descent.

On August 1, 1985, Trinidad and Tobago became the first independent country in the world to declare a national holiday to commemorate the abolition of slavery.

It is also observed in other areas in regard to the abolition of serfdom or other forms of involuntary servitude. Starting 2021, Belize joins other Caribbean nations in the observance of Emancipation Day on 1 August to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people in the Caribbean in 1843.

Emancipation Day Ecumenical Day Service.

1 August 1838, the “great event of emancipation” in the British Settlement of Belize featured religious worship as proclaimed by Supt. Alexander McDonald. Large numbers of soon-to-be-free Africans had paddled to Belize Town from the confines of the territory now called Belize. The “Sons of Ham” … “listened with …respectful deportment” to a sermon based on Galatians V 1, after which they marched to Government House premises.

Besides the regular elite, there were officers of the 2nd West India Regiment. The HMS ship Comus was anchored within sight. Nelson Schaw praised the monarchy and its officials on behalf of his “emancipated Brothers and Sisters”. They then spent the rest of “the day in festivity and mirth”, given through the “kindness of their late owners”.

The following day, the now-free populace engaged "in their usual avocations”, labouring for their former owners.

The above is based on the 1839 Honduras Almanack report by Patrick Walker, the Keeper of Records.
Posted By: Marty

Re: Emancipation Day is August 1st - 08/05/21 06:01 PM

Round table discussion with Nigel Encalada and History students from the University of Belize!

To celebrate Emancipation Day 2021, we had a round table discussion on the history of Emancipation and its impact on Belizeans today – with participation from the Institute for Social & Cultural Research ISCR NICH, National Institute of Culture and History, Ministry of Education, Culture, Science & Technology.

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