With a theme celebrating the birth of the new nation of South Sudan, African Remembrance Day (ARD) 2011 was held on August 1st at Queen Mother Moore School in Clapham, South West London.
It was a day for healing of the African family and for reflection, paying special tribute to the African victims of slavery, slave raids, and second class citizenship over the last 1000 years in South Sudan.
The day was presented by Onyekachi Wambu and Ra Hendricks, members of the ARD Committee. Arthur Torrington (CBE), Rev Hughie Andrew, spoke on many aspects of our history in remembrance of our ancestors. Sister Amasade, Sister Pat Green, and assembled drummers provided cultural input for the 150 people in attendance. In honouring the birth of South Sudan, historian Robin Walker provided one of the keynote speeches, tracing the journey of South Sudan from the pre-Pharonic period to the present day.
South Sudan became a new nation on July 9th 2011. And audience members paid additional tribute with songs, recitals and drumming. Ambassador, Paul Akaro, a representative of the Government of South Sudan up dated the gathered assembly on the current situation in the country, as well as outlining the future vision for independence. Before providing the ARD Committee with a flag of the new nation, he urged Africans everywhere to visit South Sudan, to invest in the new nation, and to continue to show solidarity.
A three minutes silence was held at 3pm for the victims of the Sudanese holocaust and for the millions of other Africans who died in the Middle Passage and elsewhere.
African Remembrance Day Committee printed T-shirts and made commemoration ribbons which were sold on the day. Information on the work of the Remembrance Day Committee was shared. The day concluded with the singing of Redemption Song and networking.