Emancipation Centenary Celebration

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First held in the Bantu Men’s Social Centre (BMSC) in Johannesburg on Sunday 3 June 1934 for a racially mixed audience, it was put on in the Eastern Native Townbship the next week. Also known as the National Thanksgiving. Included recitals of European music (from Handel to Elgar), negro spirituals, a reading of the Gettysburg Address by African variety impressario Griffiths Motsieloa and a “dramatic display” with “…scenes from slave life reminiscent of Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, written by Rolfes Dhlomo and directed by Herbert Dhlomo (Kruger, 1999). (See also Pageants and Celebrations in section 7).


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