Rememberthe400 Welcomes Guyana
On April 11, 2021, rememberthe400 celebrated its new partnership with Guyana. The whole international team was so excited to add Guyana as a new chapter in the rememberthe400 family that they could not help but to get started right away. They created the event, “Giving back to Guyana,” to welcome Guyana into the fold and provide school supplies to in-need families in support of Rememberthe400’s education initiative. This event was presented live and online, to work within the Covid-19 guidelines and restrictions.
The new Guyana chapter president led the event, Anastasia Stanford, and her business partner Pheonia Phillip. Rememberthe400 branches from all over the world, in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, participated in the celebration. They each spoke of Guyana’s struggles, what Guyana’s partnership meant to them, and what they hope to achieve together.
In the crowd, children and their parents from the community of Albouystown excitedly listened to learn about their history and hear inspiring speeches about a hopeful future.
Guyana, like many other countries where the children of slavery reside, suffered immensely. In Guyana, they face barriers in economic growth, education, and knowledge of self. Rememberthe400 recognizes this and is pushing to remove the obstacles created by inequality and repressed history, in Guyana and worldwide.
“Look at us in Guyana, look at us in America, look at us in Canada, and all parts of the world. Racism and inequality exist! But we need to get knowledge of self; that’s why Rememberthe400 is so important” Andil Houlder (Director of Rememberthe400)
Guyana has a per capita income equivalent to $20 U.S. However, they have a 35% poverty rate, with 18% facing extreme poverty. Guyana also faces, “Brain Drain,” as educated individuals leave Guyana to pursue other opportunities elsewhere in the world. More specifically, Albouystown, also known as “A City Forgotten,” happens to be the hometown of Rmemberthe400’s founder, Shadrock Porter. Rememberthe400 chose to remember this city, and therefore, could not think of a better place to start the Guyana journey than in Albouystown.
The “Giving back to Guyana,” event was filled with Incredible speeches, dance, and stories from those who had lived and experienced the struggles in Guyana first-hand.
One particular speaker of note was Malachi Richards. He spoke about his struggles with the school system and how the narrative of worthlessness and failure was portrayed through his skin color. As a young black man, he was told from his youth that he would not amount to anything. How the adults who were supposed to encourage him and lift him up felt that no good could come from him, not because they knew him, but because he was a black youth from the so-called ghetto. He had this to say to the young children in the audience,
“Even though you’re black or you’re from the so-called ghetto, in which people label it as, you can always amount to something in this life.”
Rememberthe400 would not be what it is if Shadrock Porter believed the color of his skin defined his success in life. Understanding that the narrative had to be changed to overcome oppression and racism, he created Rememberthe400. In doing so, we now have a platform to remember the injustice and oppression that the children of slavery have dealt with over the past 400 years. To tell the stories of our forefathers and foremothers, remember the forgotten cities like Albouystown, Guyana.
Shadrock Porter spoke at the event. He spoke about his love for the country and how it shaped him to be the man he is today.
“It is indeed a pleasure to be in a position to make some sort of contribution to the country of my birth.” Shadrock Porter
He told stories of how he would play with the best steel band, The Pagans. How he learned to fight at the YMCA. He described how he started his political career in Guyana and expressed his immense gratitude for Guyana.
The event concluded with an unforgettable dance by Omaiah Hall and Jasmine Assange. They danced to the song, “Stand up,” by Cynthia Erivo. It was emotionally mesmerizing, a beautiful way to tie up the events festivities and cement the powerful stories spoken. Rememberthe400 will continue to work to heal the racial divide around the world for the children of slavery. Now, through Guyana, they will continue to do that work, securing a better future for our tomorrow.