Rastafarian dancehall singjay Amlak RedSquare says Emancipation Day is one of the most important days on the calendar.
“It signifies the struggles of our people not only in Jamaica, but the Diaspora. So we need to be continuously conscious of the fact of slavery and that we should never go back to the stage of life,” he told the Jamaica Observer.
“As it relates to Jamaica, most of our heroes fought for our Emancipation. Here, I would like to give a big shout out to Paul Bogle and Sam Sharpe, in particular. Jamaicans should use Emancipation Day as a reminder of the sacrifices our heroes made for us,” he continued.
Bogle and Sharpe are two of Jamaica's seven national heroes.
Bogle, a deacon in St Thomas, led a protest march of hundreds from Stony Gut to Morant Bay Court House on October 11, 1865, which would later come to be known as the Morant Bay Rebellion. They were protesting injustice and widespread poverty under the British Crown.
After seven men were shot and killed by the volunteer militia, protesters attacked and burnt the courthouse and nearby buildings. A total of 25 people died. Over the next two days, peasants rose up across St Thomas.
Moore Town Maroons captured Bogle on behalf of the British military, and delivered him to the colonial authorities. Bogle, 45, was hanged on October 24, 1865.
Sharpe was the main instigator of the 1831 slave rebellion, which began on the Kensington Estate in St James and was largely instrumental in bringing about the abolition of slavery. He was hanged on May 23, 1832. In 1834 the Abolition Bill was passed by the British Parliament and in 1838 slavery was abolished.
This year, Emancipation Day will be celebrated this Sunday, August 1, while Independence Day is on August 6, 1962.
Amlak RedSquare is currently promoting his latest song Laugh Out Loud.
“This is geared toward the queens of our culture and will be released by mid-August. This is still a dancehall vibes song, so everyone can lock in and enjoy themselves. My expectation for this song, as any other of my songs, which is compliments from my fans,” he said.
Laugh Out Loud is produced on Pure Music Production imprint and distributed by Johnny Wonder Digital Distribution.
Amlak RedSquare (real name Omar Gordon) grew up in the inner-city community of McIntyre Villa in east Kingston. A former student of Excelsior High School, he is the nephew of deejay Spragga Benz.
He recorded his first song, Jah Jah Its Your Love, in 2012. His other songs include Run Di Place and Heart A Love. His albums are B ook of Judges released 2016 and Ganja Free released 2019.