March 22 1873 to March 22 2012
This is a long weekend for Puerto Rico's government workers, because in March 22, 1873, the Spanish National Assembly passed the law abolishing slavery in Puerto Rico. I wonder if they know what is being celebrated or know what this is all about. I wonder how many teachers explained the long farewell to their students, or if it is part of the curriculum of the Department of Education.
We the people that inhabit this island of Puerto Rico are around 4.000 million, making it one of the most densely populated islands in the world. Government offices take time attending customers or visitors; for this they entertain them to zipper mouths (shutting voices of rebellious spirits). For this they have television sets on whatever program or movie they get for visitors to watch; they do not want to educate the people. That is why we have homework to do.
The joy of having liberty...of being free is a fact; the sadness of knowing the value some give to the real history of slavery and the consequences are a realism. I invite you to read more of this subject in a very well written article title Slavery.
We the Puerto Rican people represent a cultural and racial mix. The jíbaros are the result of slavery. The Spanish forced our indigenous people, the Taínos into slaves extinguishing many and marrying some. This is one of the reasons history is important and why the knowledge of slavery must be thought about, since the slaves imported from Africa (Sudan, Kongo, Senegal, Guinea, Sierra Leona, and the Gold, Ivory, and Grain coasts), as other ethnic groups brought to work on the plantations joined the island's racial mix. In 1898 the United States acquired Puerto Rico and the Americans were included in the mix.
Short story with a long destiny; that is why Puerto Ricans , Boricuas the Jibaros are so juicy and rich in culture.
The abolition of slavery in Puerto Rico
The abolition of slavery in Puerto Rico took place thanks to God and to the Puerto Rico abolitionist movement with people that had a vision deeper than others. Some to be mentioned are: José Julian Acosta, Francisco Mariano Quiñones, Julio L. Vizcarrondo, Ramón Emeterio Betances and Segundo Ruiz Belvis. These people should be studied by us to learn how they dared to be part of changes.
José Julián Acosta
Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in February 16, 1825 and died in August 26, 1891. He was a distinguished journalist.
In a meeting in Madrid between 1865 and 1867, he presented the argument for the abolition of slavery in Puerto Rico.
Francisco Mariano Quiñones
(1830 – September 13, 1908)
He demanded the abolition of slavery in Puerto Rico and also protested over the injustices practiced by General Palacio in the island.
Julio L. Vizcarrondo
(December 9, 1829 - 1889)
He was a journalist, religious leader and politician that helped the Abolitionist Society.
Ramón Emeterio Betances
(April 8, 1827 - September 16, 1898)
Doctor in Medicine and Surgeon. He is known as "The Father of the Poor", because of his charitable deeds for people in need; also considered the father of the revolution of Puerto Rico independence movement since he was the primary instigator of the "Grito de Lares" revolution. He founded a civic organization in 1856, called The Secret Abolitionist Societies.
Segundo Ruiz Belvis
(May 13, 1829 - November 3, 1867)
He did not live to see his dream come true, of the abolition on March 22, 1873, but his effort and ideas had fruits when were viewed as dangerous by the Spanish rulers, which eventually lead to the liberation of the slaves in the remaining Spanish Colonies in Latin America.
We have a great legacy from everyone that has passed through Puerto Rico, because we are a blessed island. Africans helped with our music, art, language, and heritage. To know the truth is to know freedom.
The Bible is the word of our God, Lord and Savior; knowing the truth in it, will make us free. Galatians 3:28 says: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Galatians 5:1 says: "It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery."
Are you a free person? to be free is to not to be imprisoned or enslaved; freedom is not the same as licentiousness. As you think watch the video below.
God bless you and be free!
© Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill