Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment, and Sports Olivia Grange said the ministry will move the motion to have October 11 declared as Paul Bogle Day in recognition of his contributions to ending slavery on the island.
Bogle led the Morant Bay Rebellion, which started in Jamaica on October 11, 1865. He was a black leader and advocate for the rights of the poor and disenfranchised. Bogle also led a protest march to the Morant Bay courthouse to demand justice and better treatment for the Jamaican people.
He is considered a symbol of resistance and was declared a national hero in Jamaica for his bravery and advocacy.
“It is in this context that we, with profound responsibility, honour the memory of our forefathers and their lofty vision for respect and development that we will move to declare October 11 Paul Bogle Day to constantly memorialise and pay tribute to the legacy that Paul Bogle and his warriors bequeath us,” said Minister Grange.
The Culture Minister was making her contributions to the 2023-2024 Sectoral Debates when she made the disclosure.
Grange’s push for the declaration comes almost a year after Leader Opposition Mark Golding tabled a motion in the House of Representatives, calling for October 24 to be named and celebrated as the Day of Commemoration for the Right Excellent Paul Bogle and all those who lost their lives in the Morant Bay Rebellion of 1865.
October 24, 2023, will mark 158 years since the British colonial authorities and their allies executed Paul Bogle, his brother and secretary for their part in the rebellion. Official records also state that 439 other persons involved were executed.
“It is essential that we create and promote rituals that tell the authentic Jamaican story. Rituals and memorialisation of important events will help to shape a nation of people that know who they are, are proud of what our people have achieved, and are inspired to do their part in the continuous process of building a better and stronger Jamaica,” the Minister noted.
She added that as a nation, Jamaica has done well in terms of development. However, citizens often lack knowledge about their history and origins. As such, Grange declared that as Minister of culture, she is dedicated to “setting things right.”