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Reflections on the 55th anniversary of Black Tuesday

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Sen. Fred Mitchell
Chairman of The Progressive Liberal Party
Leader of Opposition Business – Senate
Opposition spokesman on Foreign Affairs & Shadow Attorney General

For Immediate Release
27th April 2020

Today the Progressive Liberal Party joins with thousands of freedom fighters and Bahamians of goodwill as we commemorate the 55th anniversary of Black Tuesday.

When the late Sir Lynden Pindling threw the mace out of the window of the House of Assembly in protest against the pernicious practice of gerrymandering, this seminal moment in the country’s modern political development marked a turning point in the struggle for equality, liberation and freedom by Bahamians of African descent.

Black Tuesday was just one of many significant events that defined the 20th century fight for freedom in The Bahamas and the modern Bahamas as we know and enjoy it today.

In the accounts of many political observers and historians, including Dame Doris Johnson in her book The Quiet Revolution, this epic journey began with the Burma Road Riots of 1st and 2nd June 1942; the unceremonious beginning of the suffrogate movement in 1949 following a casual conversation between the defeated Rufus Ingraham and his wife Mary; the formation of the Citizens Committee of 1950 to reverse the ban on the showing of Sidney Poitier’s first film; the formation of the Progressive Liberal Party in 1953, ushering in the era of party politics; the election of the first PLP MPs in 1956; the General Strike of 1958; the expansion of the House seats in 1960; the expansion of the franchise to women in 1962; Black Tuesday in 1965; Majority Rule in 1967 and finally independence in 1973.

So on this day fifty-five years later, we reflect on this country’s epic and glorious journey and we thank those brave and courageous souls who dared to challenge the social order of the day, who stood in the vanguard of change and were uncompromising in their demands for social justice.

It is that same courage, self discipline and indomitable spirit that will get us through this current COVID-19 pandemic. It is that same uncompromising demand for economic justice, for an end to poverty and the protection of not only our environment but our borders that must define our 21st century struggle.

We have a moral responsibility and obligation to pass this country off to the next generation in a better state than we met it. Our forefathers did it for us and we owe the same to the next generation of Bahamians.

End