๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ˆ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ ๐˜๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜Š๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ซ๐˜ฐ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ด ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜Ž๐˜ถ๐˜บ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ข ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฌ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ด โ€œ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆโ€ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฃ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜ˆ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ด ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ด๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜บ. ๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜—๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ˆ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ˆ๐˜ค๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ 1833 ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ถ๐˜ข๐˜ญ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ˆ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ 1838 ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ญ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฑ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฑ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ด ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฆ๐˜น๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฃ๐˜บ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜บ.

This holocaust of enslavement saw the ruthless and forced extraction of Africans from their homeland, and subjection to the horrors and murder that was the Middle Passage.

On arrival in the so-called โ€œNew Worldโ€ slavery persisted for four hundred years and cost the lives of millions of Africans.

It is important to note, as one of our foremost historians Dr. Winston McGowan chronicles, “The overwhelming majority of slaves never accepted the system of slavery with equanimity. They accommodated it or adjusted to it when they felt they had to and resisted it when they had the opportunities to do so.” In that same vein we must continue to resist the shackles and those who seek to bind us to a dark past.

We acknowledge their strength that catalysed a small colony to the world stage. According to the renowned historian, “By 1800 Berbice and Demerara-Essequibo, whose economic growth had long been stifled, had become the second largest producer of sugar in the British West Indies, the largest producer of cotton in the British Empire and the greatest producer of raw cotton in the entire world.” While those industries have waned, new frontiers beckon and all Guyanese will once more enjoy the good life.

We acknowledge their resilience as well and vast contributions of African slaves to our Guyanese history. From the days when they first built our major canals and sugar lands with their bare hands in the broiling sun and the rain to their descendants who stand tall today in every sphere of economic and educational endeavour.

As Guyana moves towards the promising economic times that lay ahead, we reflect on the efforts of our ancestors and their fight for freedom. Let us as a Nation resolve to never again tolerate inequality, inhumanity and racism rather let us build a unified Guyana โ€“ a future together.

End.