Wiredja Online News Logo

WiredJa Online News

Wiredja Online News Logo

WiredJa Online News

Caribbean News Today

ANTIGUA | Government Apologizes to Rastafarians for Discrimination

Featured Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne with Ambassador Franklyn “King Frank-I” Francis. | Photo: Caribbean Life News Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne with Ambassador Franklyn “King Frank-I” Francis. | Photo: Caribbean Life News
Antigua and Barbuda's Ambassador to the Organisation of the American States (OAS), Ronald Sanders, delivered an address to the organization's Permanent Council where he apologized, on behalf of his government, for decades of discrimination unleashed against the Rastafarian community.

“Implementation of the (OAS) Charter requirement to eliminate discrimination and intolerance contributes to strengthening democracy and citizen participation in all the 34 active member states of the OAS, and the Antigua and Barbuda government is proud to show its deep commitment to the rights of all citizens,” he said.

Sanders, who also serves as Antigua and Barbuda's Ambassador to the United States, also informed the council that his government had implemented measures to guarantee the rights of the Rastafarian community.

Ambassador Franklyn Francis, a leading member of the Rastafari community, accompanied Sanders to the event where he delivers his address. He said that Antigua and Barbuda: “Has taken steps to recognize the dignity and worth of the Rastafarian community as an integral part of our society.”

Sanders also noted that “discrimination prevented the Rastafarians from escaping the confines of poverty, denying them the right to explain who they are, what they believed and what role they wanted to play.”

Despite mainstream media depictions of the Rastafarians, a historical force behind the movement is the living legacy of Jamaican-born Marcus Garvey. He advocated for African-descendants across the diaspora to embark on a return — physical, spiritual, cultural and political — to their African roots via the Black Star Line Steamship Corporation. Established in 1919, the shipping line was envisioned by Garvey as a way to help Black people in the Americas return to their homeland and to boost the African global economy.

Garvey also established The Negro World publication which spread the message of freedom to Black people worldwide. The paper grew to a weekly circulation of 200,000 across the Americas, Africa, and Europe.

Malcolm X, who was raised in a family of Garveyites, praised the activist for his achievements. “Every time you see another nation on the African continent become independent you know that Marcus Garvey is alive.” Last year, the Namibian government renamed the main street of Windhoek, the country's capital, after Marcus Garvey.

  • Countries: Antigua_Barbuda

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.