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Thoughts of freedom
It was an evening of elegance at the National Academy for the Performing Arts yesterday, as a musical quintet, serenaded over 150 specially-invited guests, with symphonies that evoked thoughts of freedom, of the old American colony. The embassy of the United States of America, and the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), jointly hosted the concert, entitled Thoughts of Freedom.
It was in commemoration of African-American History Month, which concluded last week. Music was chosen as the medium to tell the story of the African-Americans who had a profound impact on the world. In his feature address, US Consular Officer Michael Mitchell said that Black History Month is a celebration to honour the rich legacy of these formerly enslaved people and highlight the remarkable contributions they made in every aspect of society.
“It is the narrative of slaves who shepherded others along the path of freedom, and preachers who organised against the rules of Jim Crow, of young people who sat-in at lunch counters, and ordinary men and women who took extraordinary risks to change our nation for the better,” said Mitchell. This year’s theme paid homage to women in American culture and history, which speaks directly to gender disparities present in society.
Professor Reza Azarmsa of UTT and his wife Sharon were also there to enjoy the evening. Azarmsa is a professor of education who devised the education programme at UTT and was successful in passing out over 1,200 graduands between 2011 to 2012. He said that the concert “was the best example of multiculturalism and education in action.”
The concert concluded with a performance by the faculty musicians from the UTT Academy of the Performing Arts and local tenor Edward Cumberbatch. The musicians played sweetly, and Cumberbatch sang beautifully to the freedom songs of an era, which saw the end of slavery and the ushering in of a new age for all African-Americans throughout the United States.
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