The Premier, who was the keynote speaker at the 13th Annual African Remembrance Wreath-laying Ceremony held yesterday, Sunday, February 7, 2021, also used the opportunity to remind the territory that it still has a long way to go regarding complete freedom and the new journey starts with recognising its current position on the journey.
“Today as we remember or ancestors who lost their lives to the transatlantic slave trade or however they lost their lives during the slave trade, we have to ask ourselves if their death is just a call for remembrance or a call for both remembrances as well as a call to action,” Premier Fahie questioned.
The Premier illustrated via a metaphor that blood can tell the current state of the body, likewise, the blood the ancestors spilt in their fight for freedom also tells a story about their struggles.
“Their blood not only speaks, but it is still speaking, but the question also is are we listening and are we mobilising and if we are listening, then we must ask ourselves are we moving forward in a respectful but assertive manner to complete their unfinished task,” the Premier said.
Further, according to Hon Fahie, who took a keen interest in African history and psychology when he attended Florida A&M University, which is the 3rd largest historically black university in the United States by enrollment, he is often unwilling to talk about the slave trade out of a belief that it, "will frighten some of the persons around me if you go too deep.”
“Our history is so deep that they might accuse me sometimes of being racist in which I am not. Every tribe remembers their history but there's always an amber light that goes on when the Africans try to remember theirs,” the Premier related.
He said the reason for that is because if Virgin Islanders truly recognise who they are and where the bloodline comes from, “then we will realise that we are not only free but we are freed,” he said.
The Premier called on the territory to use the legacy of VI’s ancestors to move forward, calling the current era, a period for Virgin Islanders to honour that legacy.
He said now is a good time to be alive in order to fulfil a purpose that was first sparked by VI's ancestors.
“The question is, what is it that you want to leave as a legacy for ancestors and for your children? Because I end by telling you the eyes of the future [are] looking back at us hoping that we get it right and the eyes of the past, our ancestors are looking ahead at us hoping we do not get it wrong,” he said.
The all-white themed event was hosted by the African Studies Klub and was held behind the Crafts Alive Village in Road Town, Tortola.