Statian Bocce Ball Champion First to Receive New Book on Slavery. | SMN NEWS

PHILIPSBURG:— Gold and bronze medal winner at the Special Olympics that just finished in the Netherlands, Jurgen Leon of St. Eustatius, was the first one of the Dutch Caribbean islands to receive a copy of the newly released book “From Slavery to Freedom.” Jurgen was in the Netherlands to compete in the bocce ball tournament as part of the Special Olympics Kingdom Games that were held in Breda and Tilburg from 14-16 June. He won a gold medal in the doubles together with his teammate Lejairo Lake and a bronze in the singles.
While in the Netherlands, St. Eustatius historian Walter Hellebrand attended the games to congratulate Jurgen on his success and to present him with the book ‘Van Slavernij naar Vrijheid” that was published last month. The book presents the first-ever collection of prose and poetry about slavery by authors from the Kingdom on both sides of the Atlantic, also including Surinam. Hellebrand wrote the contribution from St. Eustatius. His story is about the Statia Slave Revolt of 1848 that he rediscovered in the archives in 2012.
The book – with a target audience of young adults (15+) – is an initiative of Loekie Morales’ Beyond Kultura Events Foundation and published by LM Publishers. In addition to Hellebrand’s story, it contains contributions from authors from St. Maarten, Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire, Surinam and the Netherlands. While an English edition is being worked on, it is now only available in Dutch. However, Jurgen Leon said that was no problem for him as he receives classes in Dutch as part of his tuition at St. Eustatius’ Gwendoline Van Putten School.

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