Local Elders Honored During Emancipation Month

KENTE SASH HONOR: Bro. Dewitt Lee III recently presented the coveted Kente Sash Honor to Challenger publisher & editor Sis. Alnisa Banks (above photo )  

Emancipation Month, which began 6 years ago in Canada, co-founded by Dewitt Lee III,   has spread around the world and for the 2nd year in a row has honored local elders and ancestors in Buffalo, NY. on August 13th 2021, which is referred to as RBG Day. 

It is called RBG Day because on August 13th 1920,  the UNIA-ACL, led by the Hon. Marcus Mosiah Garvey founded the Red, Black, and Green flag. On this day the Emancipation Month committee chooses members of their community, those who are still with us, and those who have transitioned with a special tribute. 

Bro. Dewitt Lee presents sash to Bro. Jabril Shareef

Elders of the community receive a special handmade Kente Sash from Ghana which was produced by MACPRI International last year. This sash was commissioned by the Toronto UNIA-ACL division in 2020 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the UNIA-ACL flag.  It was presented in a special ceremony at Johnnie B Wiley, last year to Mother Eva Doyle, Bro Kamau R.E. Fields and Sharon and Kenneth Holly.  

This year’s recipients of the Kente Sash of honor was presented to Bro Jabril Shareef and Sis Alnisa Banks who received it during the Worldwide RBG Day celebration inside the African American Heritage Corridor just before the community marched down Michigan St. (Harriet Tubman Way) to the Freedom Wall on E. Ferry.

The tradition during the week of RBG Day is to visit the gravesites of our ancestors and leave them a RBG Flag to honor them for their sacrifice and to show their family that they are not forgotten.  This year we honored Queen Mother Rosa Montgomery and Harriet Tubman. 

Rosa Montgomery owned a salon in Buffalo, NY.  Mrs. Montgomery was also in administrative roles in the Empire Sports Association and the National Hairdresser’s Association. In addition, she was a member of Martha Washington Republican Club, she was among the first Black Committeewoman and a Garveyite. 

This year, will mark the first year that August 31st will be recognized as the International Day For People Of African Descent and the Emancipation Month Committee is looking to bring communities around the world together for this special moment.  Please visit www.emancipationmonth.com for more details. 

-Submitted by Dewitt Lee III