United States Ambassador Natalie E. Brown Celebrates Luba-Thurston Fort Site Restoration and Black History Month with a Concert of African-American Spirituals

Today, U.S. Ambassador to Uganda Natalie E. Brown, representatives of the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities, local authorities, and the Walumbe community came together to unveil the restored Luba-Thurston Fort Memorial, dedicated to preserving and honoring the memory of the men, women, and children who passed through this former slave trading site. During the ceremony, the Makerere Spirituals Choir performed a series of African-American spirituals to recognize our shared experience and to celebrate the U.S. Mission in Uganda’s observation of Black History Month.  

Through a USD 45,000 grant from the U.S. Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) to Uganda’s Department of Museums and Monuments, the U.S. Mission in Uganda supported restoration of the monument at the Luba Thurston Fort in Walumbe Village, Mayuge District, which is important for documenting the end of the slave trade in Uganda.  To date, the United States has funded eight projects under the AFCP in Uganda.

Speaking at the concert, Ambassador Brown said, “We must acknowledge the pain slavery brought to communities around the globe, the continuing impact of its legacy, and take lessons from that painful history to build a better future in which all citizens enjoy equal freedoms under the law.” 

Every February, the United States celebrates Black History Month to honor the achievements and contributions of African-Americans to our society, culture, and nation. African-American spirituals have their roots in songs sung by enslaved people in the United States. The songs helped African-Americans find hope during their bondage and played a key role in ending slavery. “Honestly facing our history, including the tragedy of slavery in America, and the systemic racism that continues today, is the only way we will be able to deliver on America’s promise of freedom, equality, and opportunity for all,” Brown said.

For high quality sound and video recordings of the Makerere Spirituals Choir, visit this link.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Embassy in Uganda.

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