Today is Sam Sharpe Day

One of Jamaica’s National Hero, Sam Sharpe

Today, December 27 is being celebrated as the first Sam Sharpe Day.

Sam Sharpe is a Jamaican National Hero who led the war for independence for the enslaved in Jamaica.

Minister of Culture, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange says each year, the day will be an occasion to “reflect on and celebrate the unflinching courage and bold resolve of these our ancestors, led by Sam Sharpe, who gave their lives for our freedom.”

Sharpe led the largest and most successful of the fights to end slavery. The war he organized was a major catalyst for the abolition of slavery in the British Empire.

It started on December 27, 1831, and called for the enslaved people to strike after the Christmas break unless they were being paid. They were also told to prepare to fight in the event plantation owners tried to force them to continue working as slaves.