The Minister of Youth and Culture, the Honourable Lisa Hanna is today paying tribute to the significant role played by countless women in slavery in recognition of International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade being observed worldwide March 25.
Speaking to the theme of this year’s remembrance, “Women and Slavery”, Minister Hanna recalls the tremendous impact that Jamaica’s only Heroine, Nanny had and continues to have on the society and the world.
According to the Culture Minister, “History fittingly hails Nanny as the most outstanding female Maroon leader of the period. This distinction would have been given within the context of several other females who also played important roles in Maroon warfare. The true legend of Jamaica’s only heroine is defined by the tremendous value she brought to the Maroon military campaigns which eventually led to full freedom for ex-slaves. In the face of the overwhelming military might and power of the British, Nanny’s shrewdness and physical strength prevailed, all this rooted in the tenacity of one woman”.
Minister Hanna notes that it is not surprising that Nanny, and by extension the Maroons are key figures in Jamaica’s nomination of the Blue and John Crow Mountains (BJCM) to UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The cultural heritage of the BJCM has been greatly influenced by the achievements and role of Nanny, including the birth and evolution of a Maroon community named in her honour, Nanny Town.
The Culture Minister is imploring Jamaicans to pay homage to these and other women who have not only suffered at the hands of slavery, but have triumphed in the face of extreme adversity as chronicled in history. She notes that Jamaica will continue to play its part in seeking redress for those who were exposed to the cruelty of slavery. Minister Hanna is calling on Jamaicans to be mindful that atrocities of slavery are continuing with human trafficking in different parts of the globe, and is urging Jamaicans to play their part in stamping out these inhumane acts, particularly against women and children.
Every year on March 25, the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade offers countries the opportunity to honour and remember those who suffered and died at the hands of the brutal system of slavery. This year’s theme pays tribute to the many enslaved women who endured unbearable hardships, including sexual exploitation, as well as those who fought for freedom from slavery and advocated for its abolition.
The International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2007.