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Zakiya Uzoma-Wadada, Executive Director of the Emancipation Support Committee

The pandemic and restrictions have forced the Emancipation Day celebrations to be held online for yet another year, but the executive director of the Emancipation Support Committee (ESCTT) Sister Zakiya Uzoma-Wadada does not view this negatively as she tells Guardian Media it has allowed for the expansion of its celebrations with several new additions to its 2021 itinerary of events.

These include partnering with the African Union Social and Cultural Committee for its panel discussions; a youth workshop in dance, drama, Rapso, and drumology facilitated by various cultural organisations and D Mad Company, and a virtual pop-up market for entrepreneurs.

The Kwame Ture (Stokley Carmichael) Memorial Lecture Series, also welcomed for the first time this year, the two sons of Ture—Alpha and Bokar as special featured speakers.

Uzoma-Wadada said this year, tribute would also be paid to T&T creatives who have passed on. Among those to be remembered are Sandra “Singing Sandra” Des Vignes-Millington.

The tribute to Des Vignes-Millington, will take place tomorrow, while the evening of Monday, August 2, a celebration of the life of Lutalo “Brother Resistance” Masimba, will bring the curtains down on the 36th annual observance of Emancipation Day in T&T.

This year’s Spirit of Emancipation Awardees are local reggae artistes, King David and Mr King.

In keeping with the 2021 Emancipation Day theme—Pan African Solidarity Towards a Balanced World, Uzoma-Wadada called on the African people of T&T to rise, but never forget their history.

“If we don’t understand our roots, we don’t understand how we are…we don’t understand where we’re from, we can’t shape the future. We just become aimless and we just flow with the tide and we don’t create any particular vision of our own future and who we as a people would want to be and how we are going to navigate our way through the challenges that face us,”Uzoma-Wadada said.