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Emancipation Day festivities were widespread throughout the country on Tuesday, August 1, as many Guyanese, across the ethnic divide, dressed in African gear attended various festivities to mark the end of slavery.
Chattel slavery, facilitated by the Transatlantic Slave Trade, was the most cruel system inflicted by man against man. The United Nations considered this trade the worst act against humanity.
Guyanese celebrated the day in the National Park in Georgetown; in villages across the country bought by Africans such as Belladrum on the West Coast Berbice, Buxton on the East Coast Demerara, Queenstown on the Essequibo Coast, among other areas.
In the immediate post-Emancipation freed African pooled money they earned during the amelioration period and bought up plantations which were converted to villages as early as 1840.
Some of these earliest villages were Victoria and Buxton on the East Coast Demerara, Kingelly and Lichfield on the West Coast Berbice, Queenstown and Dartmouth on the Essequibo Coast, Bagotstown on the West Bank Demerara, among the many villages created by Africans which spawned a Village Movement not seen any where else in the British Empire.
Slaves in the British Empire were freed on August 1, 1838, after spending a four year period of Amelioration (1834-1838) where they were negligibly paid.