July 1 Emancipation poster series to St. Martin libraries, available to public

House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP) and Conscious Lyrics Foundation (CLF) presented the HNP Emancipation Day poster series 2012 to the Philipsburg Jubilee Library on Wednesday and to the Public Library in Marigot on Thursday.


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Dr. Rhoda Arrindell made the joint presentation of the commemorative posters on behalf of both cultural foundations ahead of the actual Emancipation Day on July 1.

The July 1 series consists of three limited print posters, said the educator. The main illustration of the first poster shows two St. Martin men planning an escape from slavery in 1848.

The second image depicts St. Martiners protesting against slavery along the roadsides in the South of the island after Emancipation was declared in the North of St. Martin in 1848.

"The third poster bears the bold and beautiful image of legendary maroon heroine One-Tété Lohkay," said Dr. Arrindell.

The three illustrations are originally from National Symbols of St. Martin, a book that Arrindell worked on in 1996. Sundiata Lake designed the Emancipation 2012 series.

The pen and ink drawings that dominate the posters include an outcropping of the cover of National Symbols, tucked conspicuously in the design. Each poster bears dabs of colors from the unity flag, the headline: 164 Years Ago … , and a thematic footer: "Hail the Brave Ancestors! Surrender not one day of Freedom won."

This is the second year that HNP has issued an Emancipation Day poster series for July 1. Last year’s four digital art pieces were by award-winning graphics designer Angelo Rombley.

The Emancipation Day series are designed for Internet and social network posting, said HNP president Jacqueline Sample, "but Shujah thought that the images should also be printed this year for people who are not online regularly."

Shujah Reiph, president of CLF and host of Conscious Lyrics radio magazine, said, "Historical events like making Emancipation Day an official holiday for the first time on July 1, 2012, should not go unnoticed. Any people with pride in what they believe will recognize their ancestors."

"We could only afford to print a limited number of the posters, but this is a limited print of gratitude, a way of saying ‘Thank you!’ to our ancestors," said Reiph.

"We hope that persons who see and buy the posters will recognize the value that also comes with limited edition art work and will therefore cherish the Emancipation Day posters even more," said Sample.

The posters are available from Shujah Reiph and at Van Dorp bookstores. "HNP is happy to work with Conscious Lyrics and Dr. Arrindell in making the presentation to the island’s main libraries that are used by the general public, students, and researchers. In this way the posters could be considered part of the libraries’ collection of St. Martin heritage information and images for research and viewing by present and future generations," said Sample.

"The House of Nehesi-Conscious Lyrics presentation is an Emancipation Day celebration activity. Hopefully it adds to the Emancipation exhibit at the Jubilee Library, the VOICES celebration at Emilio Wilson Park on July 1, and to especially the wreath-laying and cultural parade linking the historical statues organized by the Ministry of Education and Culture headed by Minister Jacobs," said Reiph.