An Emancipation Day walk commemorating the abolition of slavery in the Cape, has taken place in Cape Town. The “Walk in the Night” march marks the end of slavery in the Cape Colony on December the first 1834.
Community members joined the 13th annual walk organised by the District Six Museum. They marched behind the banner “Emancipation Day, Celebrating The End of Slavery”.
The banner also read “Not that we were freed, but we fought”.
District Six Museum Director, Bonita Bennett, says the march has been used to educate young people.
“We kind of react some of the joy think back on some of the traditions and also use it as an educational opportunity so that people can have experience we walk past everyday we’re not aware particularly for the young people.”
Many Capetonians trace their ancestry back to the slave period. Al Ameen Kafaar has conducted research on his family’s slave history.
“It’s a case of identity. Since slavery up until 1994, your identity was defined by somebody else. It gave me an opportunity to start looking at myself, and I think it centres around history, and for my grand kids one day, it is important to know where you come from.”
Ava Price has described herself as a descendant of slaves. “When I asked my gran who her parents were, she couldn’t tell me. Because she found herself in the company of strangers; because her parents were slaves who were sold somewhere.”
The night march ended with the laying of flowers at the memorial where the old slave tree once stood and where slaves were sold in Spin Street.
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