Pride in Self and Nation fostered by Slave Route Project Lectures

Dept of Culture Photo: Mrs. Victoria Borg O’Flaherty

Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 08, 2011 (SKNIS): “Resistance in St. Kitts,” the first lecture coordinated by the UNESCO National Scientific Slave Route Project, will set in motion the process of fostering a sense of pride in one’s origins, providing the motivation for personal and national advancement.

Such are the ideals of the UNESCO National Scientific Slave Route Project which is presenting a series of lectures under the theme: “Reconciling the Past to Move into the Future with Confidence.” National Archivist Mrs. Victoria Borg O’Flaherty is the first presenter who has been charged with the task of enlightening the general populace by presenting “Resistance in St. Kitts” on Tuesday, November 08, 2011 at the University of the West Indies Open Campus starting at 7:00 p.m. Using factual information uncovered at the National Archives, Mrs. O’Flaherty will reveal various methods employed by the enslaved in St. Kitts to oppose their lot, ranging from running away to undermining the authority of their owners.

Chairperson of the Lecture Series Sub-committee Lloyd Lazar informed the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service that it is key for residents to attend tonight’s lecture to find out more about our forebears, thus learning more about ourselves in the process. “The lectures are based on the concept of improving one’s level of self-confidence and eliminating any complexes, as far as racial prejudice is concerned,” Mr. Lazar emphasized. “As Sir Probyn pointed out, we should indeed be proud of our accomplishments as people of African Decent in the Caribbean.”

Sir Probyn Innis, former Governor General of St. Kitts and Nevis and historian, spoke at the first consultation prior to the “Resistance in St. Kitts Lecture.” His presentation was titled “Decolonization of the African Mind – An Imperative to the Future,” and was held November 03, 2011. A similar consultation was held in Nevis. Leading up to each Lecture, the Sub-committee will coordinate consultations with primary and high school students.

Another activity being undertaken by the UNESCO National Scientific Slave Route Project and its subcommittees include Researcher Leonard Stapleton compiling an Inventory of Slave Sites in St. Kitts and Nevis that can be identified via map. Concurrently, Dr. Michael Blake is authoring a booklet about local black history and the experience of slavery that will be a teaching tool at Teachers’ Workshops that will empower teachers in the use of historical materials complemented by field trips in order to magnify students’ learning experience.

The National Scientific Slave Route Project forms part of a global initiative by UNESCO to recognize sites and places of memory linked to the transatlantic slave trade. The St. Kitts and Nevis National Commission for UNESCO, working along with the Committee, began the mentioned activities in April 2011.

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