People gather around the renovated monument during the official opening of the Rock Hall Freedom Park in St Thomas. (Picture by Lennox Devonish)
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Barbadians made a spiritual connection to their slave ancestors yesterday as the Rock Hall Freedom Park in St Thomas was officially opened.
The historic ceremony began with a call on the ancestors and a prayer by the Anglican Diocese. It continued with moving dances, folk music and drumologies. The final performance was a powerful one by Adisa AJA Andwele, who was born in Rock Hall, in partnership with De ReEmergence Band, Riddim Tribe and Dancin’ Africa.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office with responsibility for Culture, John King, gave a history of Rock Hall, which was a bloody one.
The slave master who owned the land, Reynold Ellcock, was killed by his slaves, who slit his throat because he had promised them money upon his death and they could not wait. King said those slaves paid the ultimate price for their act and it was many years before their descendants received the money. They used it to found Rock Hall, the first black freehold village in Barbados. They also founded Bridgefield Village, also in St Thomas.
King said while not every aspect of history might be pretty, it was important to revere those who made it possible for Barbadians of today to succeed. (CA)
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