Let freedom ring!
Barbados just named a Black woman as its first president after severing ties with the British Monarchy Travel Noire reports. Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley nominated Dame Sandra Mason to be Barbados’ first president as an independent republic during August’s live address to the nation.
The historic election came after a joint session of the House of Assembly and the Senate on Wednesday. Prime Minister Mia Mottley described the vote as a “seminal moment” for the nation. Mason was the current acting governor-general and a graduate of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados, and the Hugh Wooding Law School. She made history as the first Bajan woman to graduate from the Trinidadian law school.
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“We believe that she is a fitting nomination for the post of being the first president of Barbados to be elected by this parliament of Barbados,” Mottley told reporters.
In September 2020, the Bajan government decided to sever ties with the British monarchy, announcing they would be removing Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. The removal of the Queen became official in September 2021.
While Barbados has been an independent country since 1966, along with 16 other countries formerly part of the “British empire,” it continued to recognize Queen Elizabeth as its sovereign head of state. The government has now decided to cut ties altogether in a move that they say is completely amicable between the two nations.
“It’s not a divisive decision. It’s not a decision that is reflective of any break with the monarchy or any disrespect. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. We have an excellent relationship with the United Kingdom, with the royal family, and we believe that the time has just come for us to boost the confidence of our people,” Mottley said.
Barbados is one of the largest Caribbean islands with a population of about 285,000. It will not be the first former British colony in the Caribbean to become a republic. Guyana took that step in 1970, less than four years after gaining independence from Britain. Trinidad and Tobago followed suit in 1976 and Dominica in 1978.
Dame Mason is set to become the official president on November 30, 2021, when the country finalizes its split from the British monarchy. It will also mark the country’s 55th anniversary of independence from Britain.
Congratulations, President Mason! Because of you, we can!
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