Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 11, 2019 (SKNIS): In celebration of History and Heritage Month, which is commemorated annually in February, the Charles A. Halbert Public Library in collaboration with the History and Heritage Committee, has set up a book display at the library under the theme “African Survivals in St. Kitts and Nevis”.
Percival Hanley, Chairman of the History and Heritage Committee and General Manager of the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park Society, stated that the theme was chosen to highlight the importance and existence of various aspects that have been inherited over the years from the island’s African ancestors.
“It is no secret that we are descendants of Africans who were brought across from the continent to the Caribbean and who worked and toiled on these islands for hundreds of years, but, they haven’t just gone, they have left with us certain things that continue to live on in our daily lives, in our culture and in our heritage,” said Mr. Hanley.
He added that the display and month of activities help citizens to celebrate, acknowledge and recognize “all of those things that have come down through our past into the present.”
Charles A. Halbert Library Representative on the History and Heritage Committee, Denise Welsh, stated that every month a different display is presented to highlight the theme for that month.
“For the past few years, we have partnered with the St. Kitts-Nevis History and Heritage Committee to mount a display for the annual History and Heritage Month in February,” she said.
The display features write-ups, books based on African heritage and other paraphernalia focused on the theme.
The History and Heritage Committee has coined the term African Survivals to depict aspects of the country’s African heritage such as dance, drama, art and craft, music, local customs, local sayings and herbal medicines, said Mrs. Welsh.
“African Survivals is really just meant to represent aspects of our way of life that have been passed down for generations from slaves of West Africa who were deposited here hundreds of years ago,” she explained. “After seeing this display, you should also get a better picture of who you really are, and this may help you to value yourselves more and in so doing foster a feeling of national identity and pride.”
According to Chairman Hanley, History and Heritage Month in St. Kitts and Nevis was founded by the late Sir Probyn Inniss. It began as a week and then expanded into a month to promote awareness and understanding of the Federation’s history, heritage and culture among citizens and to create a sense of pride within them.