Make August Freedom Month

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Rememberthe400 seeks officially to recognize the month of August as Freedom Month.  There are many reasons why, but here are a few:

  • On August 20, 1619: The first slave ship (the White Lion) docked in Hampton, Virginia, the USA carrying “20 and odd” enslaved Africans that were eventually traded for food, marking the beginning of slavery in North America.
  • On August 1, 1833: The British House of Commons raised and passed The Slavery Abolition Act abolishing slavery.
  • On August 1, 1834: The act was made official law and extended to the British colonies. Today many countries in the Caribbean and South America celebrate Emancipation Day during August.
  • On August 28, 1963: The March on Washington occurred where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous I Have A Dream Speech.
    On August 6, 1965: The Voting Rights Act in America was signed into law.
  • On August 30, 1972: Rosemary Brown was elected as a provincial Member of the Legislative Assembly in British Columbia. She became the first black woman to sit in a legislative assembly in Canada.  She was an advocate against social inequality, racism, and sexism.
  • On August 1, 2019: Toronto Mayor, John Tory, proclaimed the entire month of August as “Emancipation Month.”

Black History Month in North America, which first started as a week-long observation, was chosen to be February to recognize the birthdays of Fredrick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.  Whereas Black History Month in the United Kingdom is celebrated in October to recognize the month in which traditional African chiefs settled disputes and the beginning of the academic calendar.  While all these rationales are worthwhile, they do not fully encompass the history of enslaved Africans and their descendants in the Americas. Nor do they recognize the UK parliamentary proceedings which abolished slavery in August 1833/1834, impacting countries belonging to the British empire, including Canada and the United States.

Rememberthe400’s mission is to tell the true story of the Children of Slavery who landed on the shores of the Americas 400 years ago in 1619, and their plight throughout history.

The month of August tells our story!

By signing this petition, you are making it known that you Remember The 400 and you want Canada, the United States of America, the United Kingdom and all countries to which our ancestors have made significant contributions, to do the same!