Many islands in the Caribbean that were former British territories are marking the emancipation of slavery this week. The specific day varies by country but most fall within the first week of August, specifically August 1st. Slavery was abolished by the British empire in 1834 and to mark the occasion many islands have cultural festivals and carnivals to pay homage to enslaved ancestors.
Here in Barbados, it’s Crop Over, the annual carnival tradition. Revelers awoke in the wee hours of the morning today to parade through the dark streets with paint, powder and oil as part of the celebration known as Foreday.
Pictured above is the Emancipation Statue, located just east of Bridgetown. It marks the island breaking the chains of slavery. Many Barbadians refer to the figure as Bussa, named after an enslaved Barbadian who led a slave revolt in 1816.
Today is a holiday therefore businesses are closed. But masquerades for Monday’s Grand Kadooment Day parade are still picking up their costumes. The streets are filled with the sounds of sweet soca and calypso music and everyone is ready to party!
Carefree Black Girls, Celeb Edition: Janelle Monae & Rihanna Selfies Give Life
Many would think that Janelle and Rihanna are different. From their music, to their style, and down to the ways in which they carry themselves in public, these two are definitely on two different playing fields.
But when you debunk all that, when you strip those things away, these two aren’t that far apart.
They are two Black women in the music industry who work HARD for how far they’ve come.
They are two Black women who are PROUD to be Black women.
They are two Black women who are style icons in their own right, breaking fashion barriers as we know it. Rihanna in embracing every ounce of her beauty and not being afraid to rock a see through diamond encrusted dress, and Janelle in strutting tuxedos, decked in Black & White. Both women making statements of confidence and knowing themselves in the clothes they wear.
They are two Black women who don’t hold back in expressing themselves through their art and the ways in which they enjoy the life they live; lives that many people judge, in which they couldn’t give a damn about. Rihanna is deemed promiscuous and wild, unable to be private. Janelle is deemed too weird, where people wonder about her sexuality and her point.
They are two Black women who aren’t afraid to speak their mind.
But most importantly, they are two Black women who are CAREFREE.
Whenever I see selfies of Rihanna or Janelle, my heart does a dance. They have this energy that charges at you and forces you to look; digest. You wanna be a part of their personal celebration. You wanna have what THEY’RE having. So how awesome was it that they BOTH posted brand new selfies today!? Rihanna at Kadooment Day parade in Barbados, and Janelle slaying poolside at the Wondaland mansion. When both of these women first came onto the scene, they were who they were. Not entirely OPEN, where people could get this great glimpse of what they’d be like when the doors are closed and the cameras are tucked away. But they’ve evolved. GLO’ED UP, as us Tumblr folk say. And now, they are so open to change and opportunities. Rihanna has done so much for and by herself, and so has Janelle. They’ve created things that they can call THEIR OWN.
I love how they live freely. I’m inspired by it. And you can tell how in CONTROL they are of themselves…