The Walke Street Emancipation Committee will host its annual Freedom Run 5K on August 1 in Sangre Grande.
But owing to the covid19 pandemic, the committee's chairman Montsho Masimba is asking interested participants to run virtually on the day.
"We're asking the thousands of people who have participated over the years to choose any time to go out and do the 5K anywhere," he said on Wednesday.
"Run that 5K in commemoration of your ancestors."
However, Masimba made it clear, "I'm not inviting people to come to Walke Street to participate."
Masimba said a small group, in keeping with public health regulation prohibiting groups of no more than five from gathering, will make a symbolic run from Walke Street, Sangre Grande on August 1.
He urged people in support of the cause to light a candle, say a prayer or beat a drum at their homes.
Masimba said the goal of the committee, which was founded 26 years ago, is to assist the development of people in the African diaspora through lectures, seminars, community-building events throughout the year, in collaboration with other progressive institutions and organisation in Sangre Grande and environs.
He also extended greeting to people in Canada who will be celebrating Emancipation Day for the first time.
On March 24, 2021, the House of Commons in Canada voted unanimously to commemorate Emancipation Day on August 1.
Masimba said the Caribbean Historical Society, founded by the National Joint Action Committee, began lobbying 25 years ago for Emancipation Day to be globally recognised. The mandate was given by the late NJAC founder Makandal Daaga.
Masimba said, "As head of the Walke Street Emancipation Committee, I want to send congratulations to the committee in Canada that has worked to get that done, and congratulate the Caribbean Historical Society for spearheading that internationalisation of Emancipation Day.
"This is a sacred day, No human being should experience again the chattel slavery endured by the African people."
However, he warned people to be wary of different methods of slavery.
"While we live in the 21st century, enslavement comes in many forms. It is modernised, no longer just a chain, whip and a gun."
Canadian Mary Desmond, a member of the Upper Big Tracadie/Lincolnville Education Committee, in a Toronta Star article, spoke about the importance of Emancipation Day.
She said, “It is very important for the African Nova Scotian community. I think for the general population as a whole, because it is part of our history – part of Canada’s history...Our history should be told because we helped build this country Canada and I think it is very important that the truth be told.”
Masimba said people can subscribe to the Walke Street Emancipation Committee's YouTube channel to get more info about the organisation.