By Maudiana John-Baptiste, Behavioral Health Counselor, WestCare Virgin Islands
The Village – Virgin Islands Partners in Recovery were proud to embrace our Caribbean heritage. We are no strangers to the fight for emancipation. It is a beautiful reminder of the resiliency of our ancestors and their willingness to fight to ensure a better future for themselves and those that would come after them. Virgin Islands Freedom Week concluded with our Emancipation Day on July 3rd.
Staff and clients of The Village honored the bravery of John Gottlieb, known as General Buddhoe, who famously blew into a conch shell – rallying the enslaved on July 2, 1848, for the violent uprising that would lead to their emancipation that very day.
As we walked through Freedom City Frederiksted and enjoyed the artistic expressions displayed at the Caribbean Museum of the Arts by our local artists who honor our ancestral warriors, the pride in each person’s Caribbean heritage was evident. This month, we topped off the celebratory time by enjoying the cultural foods and treats of our Caribbean home. It is with much cultural pride that we shout from the rooftops, HAPPY EMANCIPATION!