adht_barbaThe Caribbean island of Barbados is set to host the 8th Annual African Diaspora Heritage Trail (ADHT) Conference next month on September 17th to 19th. The conference held under the theme, “Our Heritage, Our Identity: Uncover, Recover, Discover,” is expected to bring renewed focus to the rich histories of the African Diaspora. The keynote speaker for the conference is Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, an internationally reputed historian who is pro-vice chancellor and principal of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus in Barbados.

The ADHT conference, which will be held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, is executed under the leadership of the ADHT Bermuda Foundation initiated by the Bermuda Ministry of Tourism in 2001. Endorsed by the United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the ADHT conference draws participants from tourism destinations worldwide. The conference is held each year in an ADHT participating destination with the primary focus of establishing African Diaspora Heritage Trails that re-link African Diaspora traditions in the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, Canada, North and South America.

Goals of the conference include highlighting and preserving those aspects of the African heritage that can expose visitors to authentic African history and culture; producing a guide in tourism management that can assist ADHT participating destinations in effectively tapping the growing cultural heritage market and developing a network of collaborators that are committed to identifying, building, financing, promoting and marketing cultural heritage tourism destinations.

adht_logoIn addition to the traditional opening and closing ceremonies, the conference program will comprise a number of concurrent sessions and panel discussions. Topics include: Recovering Our Ancestral links; African Retentions in the Caribbean; African Spirituality in the Caribbean; Black Resistance Music of the Diaspora; Road Marches of the Caribbean; Protected Areas and Spirituality; Cultural Resistance to Slavery; The Presence of Absence; Black Immigrants in Latin America; Community Case Studies- How Nova Scotia Engages Communities; and Linking Museums to the Places of History and Culture.

Barbados’ commitment to the preservation of the rich histories and heritage of the African Diaspora has been longstanding. In 2000 Barbados hosted the 2nd Caribbean Meeting on the Cultural Tourism Programme of the UNESCO/WTO Slave Route Project with the objective of rehabilitating, restoring and promoting the tangible and intangible heritage from the Transatlantic Slave Trade, for cultural tourism.

Over the years Barbados has continued its work in the preservation and celebration of its rich African history and heritage. Efforts in this regard have culminated in the development of the Barbados Slave Route Heritage Trail, Freedom Footprints: The Barbados Story, which also serves as its African Diaspora Heritage Trail and Tour. Barbados is therefore proud to have been selected as the host country for this 8th Conference.

Come and experience the 8th ADHT Conference in Barbados: come and experience Freedom Footprints: the Barbados Story as well as our breathtaking tourism attractions and other places of interest including our UNESCO World Heritage Property, Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison. Barbados welcomes you. For more information, visit www.ADHTBarbados.

Photo credit: (t) Barbados Tourism, (b) ADHT logo