The Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration Secretary David Denny told outlet Barbados Today while disembarking one of the four buses which left the Rock Hall Freedom village, that it was a tour aimed at educating the young ones about their past.
“This was the final day for the Season of Emancipation and we honour and recognise the international day which was designated by the United Nations for African descendents and we brought together children who were participating in the arts programme,” he said.
The tour started from Bayleys Plantation in St. Philip for the 96 campers from the Summer Arts Programme and the Digital Media Camp of the Division of Youth.
“This helped children to gain information about the Bussa rebellion and there was also information about the slave trade and they gained information about the slave burial ground,” Denny added.
Eleven year old student of the Lester Vaughan School Kadyn Prescod carried a twinkle in his eye as he recalled to Barbados Today what he enjoyed most about the tour.
#SNAPSHOT: Late Cuban leader Fidel Castro speaking at the foot of Barbados' Emancipation Statue at Haggatt Hall 24 years ago on Emancipation Day 1998 pic.twitter.com/82cqfFIXvm
“I saw canefields and the guide spoke about our ancestors and it was truly amazing [hearing] that. What really stood out to me was when we saw the graves - it was truly nice to know what happened,” he said in a reflective tone referring to the new Newton Slave Burial ground.
“When I heard how they were treated and the bad conditions they were in -that made me feel hurt. We were treated really poorly,” Prescod reasoned. He added it’s amazing that young black people like him and his friends are no longer treated as objects but can make something of themselves. “That is great because now we no longer have anyone to boss us around or treat us poorly,” he added.
Eight-year-old Sanijah Boyce while speaking from Rock Hall said that her favourite part of the tour was making the sugar. She said it was a “great” experience. “I loved the sugar factory, I did not know that cane [was made there],” she said, smiling in reflection.
Ten-year-old Tashawn Greenidge of St Giles said that he was impressed with how the tour went as well. The students first moved off from the Ivy Community Centre, Ivy, St. Michael.
They then headed to Haynesville Police Outpost, Haynesville, St. Michael, Bayleys Plantation in St Philip, the Newton Slave Burial Ground and stopped for lunch at the Rock Hall Freedom Village. It was an occasion of excited chatter from the students where they asked many questions related to history and the treatment of the enslaved.