News Release: HAMILTON, Bermuda – The Department of Culture outlined a series of events being held this month in the lead up to the Emancipation, Mary Prince and Cup Match Holiday. 

As is tradition, each year, the Department of Culture hosts and sponsors a number of activities during the month of July and August to commemorate Bermuda’s emancipation.

Last year, unfortunately due to the pandemic, the events were hosted virtually. However this year, the Department of Culture is pleased to be able to feature in-person events for the benefit of the public. 

The theme of this year’s Emancipation commemoration is – “Resilience of the African Spirit”. And this year, the Department of Culture has partnered with Jumuiya ya Afrika Bermuda, the Department of Libraries and Archives, Treasures of Bermuda Tours, Titan Express, and the Bermuda Friendly Societies Association as a sponsor of these events which speak to this year’s theme.

Activities include lectures, historical bus tours, wellness demonstrations, Friendly Society tours, and other creative offerings to honour Emancipation Day, Mary Prince Day and the Cup Match Holiday. 

This year’s signature event takes place on July 23, at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute.

Entitled “Resilience of the African Spirit”, the limited in-person showcase and will explore the heritage and artistry of Africa, which is reflected in the threads that connect Bermuda and other cultures of the Diaspora with the continent. The public will be treated to a display of music, clothing and the culinary traditions that highlight the resilience of the African spirit.  

Today the Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, Dr Ernest Peets said: “Emancipation Day is traditionally observed on the first day of the Cup Match holiday, and for the second year, we will also celebrate a day named for one of Bermuda’s National Heroes – Mary Prince. We are also very excited to celebrate the return of Cup Match after a one year absence due to the pandemic.

“As it relates to our Emancipation observances, the Government in partnership with a number of our community partners have worked to put together a month long programme of insightful, probing and engaging activities and events that will explore our culture, heritage and African links.”

The Department of Culture advised that there is a modest cost associated with some of the activities taking place in support of the tour operators, however there are some events that are also free to the public. Additionally some of the events will be streamed live, filmed and aired at a later date so that the public can have the benefit of viewing some of the Emancipation activities. 

For more info email: culture@gov.bm.

The full line up of Emancipation Day, Mary Prince Day and Cup Match events are as follows:

 Thursday, July 15

Titan Express presents: “Mary Prince Legacy Bus Tour”

Time: 6:30pm
Location: Departs Visitor Service Centre, Hamilton

Cost: $35
Details: Purchase tickets online at www.titantoursbermuda.com
Sponsored by the Department of Culture

 Saturday 17 July and Thursday,  July 22
Treasures of Bermuda Tours presents: “Exploring Bermuda’s Black Mecca” 

Speaker: Charles Jeffers and Maxine Esdaille
Time: 9am (July 17) and 5:30pm (July 22)
Location: Princess Street to Union Street

Cost: $20 for adults, $10 for seniors and students

Details: Call/WhatsApp 504-7749 to purchase tickets

Sponsored by Department of Culture and Department of Libraries and Archives

Sunday, July 18 

Tanaya Presents: “Family Open Mic Brunch: Resilience of the African Spirit”
Time: 2pm – 5pm

Location: TBD

Cost: $30
Details: For tickets or more information, call or email 537-6293 or tanayapresents@gmail.com

Sponsored by the Department of Culture

Featured Event Friday, July 23          
Department of Culture in partnership with Jumuiya ya Afrika Bermuda Present: 
“Resilience of the African Spirit”
Time: 6pm
Location: Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute

Cost: Free
Details: Register at https://bit.ly/AfricaBda. In-person spaces are limited, event will be live streamed on the Department of Culture’s FB page. 

Contact culture@gov.bm for more info.
The heritage and artistry of Africa are reflected in the threads that connect Bermuda and the other cultures of the Diaspora with the continent.  Join us as we explore the music, clothing, and culinary traditions that show the resilience of the African spirit.  Light Ethiopian refreshments will be served.

Saturday, July 24
Empowered Me Wellness Presents: “Bermuda, Rastafari and the Awareness of Our African Spirit” Movement Discussion and Sunset Yoga

Speaker/Instructor: Latoya Bridgewater
Time: 7pm
Location: Astwood Park 

Cost: $10

Details: Register at info@emw.yoga

Sponsored by Department of Libraries and Archives and Department of Culture

Monday, July 26
Entry deadline for Emancipation Youth Creativity Competition

“How Have My Ancestors Made Me Strong?” 
Poems, videos, artwork, or essays can be submitted to culture@gov.bm or sent via WhatsApp to 333-8048.  Open to youth under the age of 18 with 1st, 2ndand 3rd prizes awarded.

Tuesday, July 27 

CURB Presents: “Emancipation in the Bermuda Context” 

Speaker: Cordell Riley
Time: 6:30pm – 7:15 pm

Location: Virtual: Zoom Webinar

Details: Email admin@uprootingracism.org to register or for more info

Thursday, August 5 and Thursday, August 19
Treasures of Bermuda Tours presents: “Art of Resistance Tour: From Misery to Memorials, Uncovering the History of the Art” 

Speaker: Shirley Pearman and Maxine Esdaille

Time: 5:30pm
Cost: $20 for adults, $10 for seniors and students

Details: Call/WhatsApp 504-7749 to purchase tickets

Sponsored by Department of Culture and Department of Libraries and Archives

Friday, August 6

Titan Express presents: “The Friendly Societies Tour”

Time: 6:30pm

Cost: $45 (part proceeds to Manchester Unity Lodge)
Details: Purchase tickets online at www.titantoursbermuda.com
Sponsored by the Department of Culture

Sunday, August 8
“The Good Samaritans and the Resilience of Bermudians”

Speaker: Dr Michael Bradshaw

Time: 2:45pm and 4pm

Location: Princess Loyal Union Lodge/Good Samaritan’s Lodge, 62 Cobb’s Hill Road

Cost: Donations to the Good Samaritans Lodge welcomed

Details: Register at libraryevents@gov.bm

This lecture will explore the story of the Good Samaritan lodges and their impact on the post-Emancipation lives of people of African descent in Bermuda.   

Sponsored by the Department of Libraries and Archives and the Department of Culture