Greater than 50 folks confirmed as much as mark New Brunswick’s first official Emancipation Day in Saint John.
On Aug. 1, 1834, the British Parliament outlawed the proudly owning, shopping for and promoting of people as property all through its colonies. The historic act freed about 800,000 enslaved folks of African descent throughout the colonies.
The Canadian authorities proclaimed Aug. 1 as Emancipation Day after two unanimous votes by the Home of Commons and the Senate within the spring of 2021.
New Brunswick noticed it final 12 months, and formally declared the day in June 2022.
Monday’s occasion at Saint John Metropolis Market was organized by Black Lives Matter New Brunswick. Govt director Matthew Martin mentioned he knew it was solely a matter of time earlier than they may have a celebration like this.
“Taking a look at our historical past, we’ve to take small steps when acknowledging our previous, and recognizing Emancipation Day is simply one other small step.”
Martin mentioned there’s nonetheless quite a lot of work to be completed.
“The chains that used to restrict my ancestors could have been eliminated, however they’ve been remodeled into insurance policies and procedures that put myself and our fellow Black group members at a drawback.”
Group leaders and elected officers gathered to look at the day, together with MP Wayne Lengthy, Well being Minister Dorothy Shephard and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Arlene Dunn.
Dunn mentioned transferring the movement for recognition of Emancipation Day was the spotlight of her profession.
She mentioned whereas she desires to acknowledge the achievements in opposition to anti-Black racism, there are nonetheless racist attitudes that prevail.
“Whereas we do deal with the optimistic, I might say once more, we can’t ignore the dehumanizing historical past that so many individuals endured merely due to the color of their pores and skin,” Dunn mentioned.
“Racism has broken the lives and obliterated the desires of many individuals.
“Minorities, as you understand, and ethnic oppressed teams proceed to battle for equal entry and alternative to realize entry to lots of the issues that white folks take without any consideration.”
Extra to come back.
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