OPINION: VIGOP Says Emancipation Day Is A Day To Reflect On The Struggles And Victories Of The Past
Jevon O.A. Williams with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus in Washington, D.C. (VIGOP)
CHRISTIANSTED — The following statement by Republican National Committeeman Jevon O.A. Williams was issued on behalf of the Republican Party of the United States Virgin Islands:
“While many across the United States and other U.S. Territories have already started to prepare for the 4th of July and other traditional American Independence celebrations, today marks a historic holiday here in the US Virgin Islands — Emancipation Day. On this special day, it is vital that we reflect on the hardships our ancestors endured, the battles fought, lost and won in the pursuit of freedom.”
Almost 80 years after revolutionists from the thirteen colonies rose up against English tyranny in 1776 and long before President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that as of January 1, 1863, all slaves held in captivity by the rebellious states “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free”, our ancestors on St Croix joined together and coordinated an uprising.
Williams went on to state, “The Virgin Islands holds a sacred place in black history as we were the second island in the Caribbean after Haiti to demand our freedom which subsequently setforth the precedent for emancipation throughout the other Caribbean islands. Credit has long been attributed to then Danish Governor General Peter von Scholten for the abolishment of
slavery, while this is technically true, emancipation was actually brought forth by the uprising of our ancestors on July 3, 1848, which forced the hand of Governor General Peter von Scholten to do it much earlier than he planned to.”