Monument to the Barbadian Family
In the heart of Heroes Square is the powerfully inspiring monument that speaks to the importance of the family unit in building and maintaining a successful nation.
The monument was designed by Barbadians Vincent Jones and Hugh Holder who explain that it "follows the Barbadian Family’s journey, past and present. It recognises them as the heroic beacons of our nation from which all National Heroes came."
When the ancestors of many Barbadians were brought to the island as slaves, families were deliberately separated and broken apart. It was cruel psychological control and domination that was part of the dehumanizing system of slavery.
One of the key elements of the design in the symbolic use of shackles. In addition to being utilized for restraint and punishment, their use was part of a broader system of subjugating and dehumanizing enslaved persons.
At each end of the monument, ancestral Barbadian families are seen breaking open the shackles with strength and determination, making freedom possible.
At the centre of the now open shackles is a stone sculpture of the Barbadian Family, the ultimate hero of the island. At the base of the sculpture are the words "We loyal sons and daughters all", taken from our national anthem. Note that several forms are depicted here which can symbolize the important extended family that includes grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc beyond a traditional nuclear family. The Modern Family Statue rises over the Shackles, conveying the triumph over a cruel and oppressive past.
The sculpture is reminiscent of the Rock Hall Freedom Monument located at the first Barbados freehold village created by former slaves.
Also within the open shackles, surround the Family, are eleven vertical slabs, each with an image, name and description of one of our National Heroes. From the family, our National Heroes have been born and raised.
On the top of the Shackles are the words Inspired, Exulting, Free, also taken from our national anthem. It is a reminder to appreciate the freedom we have today, and a promise of an even brighter future.
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