Youth encouraged to take part in reparations forum and rally

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Young people in Antigua & Barbuda are being encouraged to attend a Youth Forum and Rally, today, which is hosted by the Antigua and Barbuda Reparations Support Commission (ABRSC).
According to the ABRSC, the event, which will be held under the theme, “Riding the Justice Train”, will provide the participants the opportunity to understand the call for reparations.
One member of the commission, Franklyn “King Frank-I” Francis shared his belief that the forum is necessary because the misunderstanding of sectors of the society wanting reparation stems from lost history.
“Part of the whole feeling that there is nothing to be gained, ‘we can’t gain nothing in our lifetime’, et cetera, comes from the fact that our history has been neglected, has been subverted, has been skewed and lied about,” Francis posited.
He said that not only will the young people get to learn about their African heritage, but they will understand the call for the former colonial masters to make reparation.
“I think that this is where we will be able to achieve something in terms of re-instituting history in our schools and in our general society and curricula.”
King Frank-I said that teaching young people about their African heritage should continue after the forum, in schools.
“While we can look at the seminal work on Antiguan life from let’s say 1700 to 1763, as encapsulated by David Barry Gasper’s book, Bondmen and Rebels, that is one which I think should be required reading for all Antiguans and certainly all Antiguan school children should become aware of that but also the work of other Antiguan writers and thinkers.”
The Youth Forum starts from 9 am and the rally at 5 pm. The Multipurpose Cultural and Exhibition Centre at Perry Bay is the venue for both events.
Speakers at this Black History/Caribbean Reparations Commission event include Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies and Chairman of the Caribbean Reparations Commission, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles; Minister of Social Transformation Samantha Marshall; and teacher at the Nyabinghi Theocracy Church School, Kai Davis.

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