The Dominica Library and Information service officially launched Black History Month 2017 on Wednesday under the theme “liberties lost, freedom won.”
The Hon Minister for Youth and Culture, Justina Charles says she believes recognizing Black History Month is important for Dominicans, specifically for the youth, to understand the background of our ancestors as we look at a way forward.
“I think for us in Dominica is something that is very important. And more so with the young people of the country so that we can develop, getting to know about the black history, black people, the people who struggled, the people who suffered to bring us where we are, it is important that we understand that so we can develop that appreciation of who we are as a people, where we came from, where we are now and how we can chart out future based on the history, our own history,” she said. “
Hon Charles believes there is much to be learnt from black history and urges young persons to spend time learning of the contributions of their ancestors.
Black Activist and featured speaker at the launching of Black History Month 2017, Franklyn Georges, made a call for the re-educating of the youth of Dominica into building a sense of loyalty to their history and Dominica as their homeland.
“Please, let us start to re-educate our children. We educate them and when they’re finished the first thing they want to do is fly away. Let us give them some sense of staying home, of building… because without a history there is no roots,” he said.
Black History Month is an annual celebration of the achievements of black people and a time for recognizing the role of black people in the development of world history.
Chief Librarian, Vernanda Raymond says this year the goal of the Dominica Library and Information Service throughout Black History Month is three fold: to create black consciousness, to highlight the contribution of our local educators and community personalities and to inform on black inventors and inventions. Activities will include, radio and television programs, movies for children and adults and discussions on black consciousness and jazz music.
Other activities for Black History Month include outreach to 17 primary schools and 4 secondary schools, bulletin board displays, and an exhibition and debate at the Roseau public library.