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Lee Sing: You can’t emancipate Africans with ‘ten days’
The people of African descent must recognise that they have to do better than they are doing now. This was the view Port-of-Spain Mayor Louis Lee Sing expressed on Thursday as he addressed the nation on the upcoming Emancipation Day celebrations at the monthly statutory council meeting at City Hall.
“I can only hope that the celebrations to be held during the period from now till then will serve, as it were, to light a fire in the hearts and in the minds of African people to recognise that they must do better than they are doing now,” he said. He said he could only express what was in his heart and he felt the African community had given the country unparalleled contributions, but this was not enough.
“I cannot be happy with the speed at which African people have chosen to emancipate themselves. I appeal to all African parents, old and young alike. I appeal to all African elders in this society, to come to recognise that theirs is a responsibility in this 50th year,” he said. He said there could be no true emancipation if there remains a dependence on social relief programmes.
“You cannot emancipate the people of African descent in this country by its dependence on ten days and Colour Me Orange,” he added. “When they colour you orange, that is what you will become—an orange that will be squashed and squeezed and moulded into anything.” Lee Sing added that he believed Africans had to work harder than ever to cement their place in today’s society.
“You must be able to tell your young men that they cannot wear their pants halfway down—unacceptable. You must be able to tell them that now is the time of enterprise,” he said. This was a time for Africans to give back to their communities and seize all opportunities that had been given to them, he said.
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