January 10 is a national public holiday in the Bahamas called “Majority Rule Day”. It commemorates the day in 1967 when the black majority living in the Bahamas Islands finally won a national election and had their numbers fairly reflected in the way that parliament was constituted.
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Along with Bahamian holidays celebrating the abolition of slavery and the independence of the islands from British colonial rule, Majority Rule Day marks a major step towards equality and freedom in Bahamas.
After over two hundred years as a British colony, an independence movement began to gain steam in Bahamas during the 1950’s. Greater local rule was granted in 1964, but it wasn’t till 1973 that full independence came. The achievement of majority rule in the election of 1967 did much to move Bahamas toward independence.
When Randol Fawkes caucused with the United Bahamian Party on 10 January, 1967, it gave them a slight edge so they could form a majority coalition. This was the turning point for majority rule in Bahamas. Later, in 1969, Lyden Pindling was elected Bahamas’ first black prime minister.
Majority Rule Day did not become an official holiday in Bahamas until 2014. The main tradition connected with it is a parade that takes place in Freeport each year.
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