Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The National Anthem of Belize

Belize, formerly British Honduras, is a country in Central America. Belize has a diverse society, composed of many cultures and speaking many languages. Although Kriol and Spanish are also widely spoken among the populace, Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official language. It is bordered by Mexico to the north, Guatemala to the south and west, and the Caribbean sea to the east.

Land of the Free is the national anthem of Belize. The words were written by Samuel Alfred Haynes and the music by Selwyn Walford Young in 1963. It was officially adopted in 1981.

Samuel Haynes (1899-1971) was an African Caribbean Belizean soldier, activist and poet. He was a leader of the 1919 riot by Belizean soldiers who had fought for Great Britain in World War I and refused to accept racial discrimination at home. He also wrote the lyrics of a song named ""Land of the Gods" which later became Belize's national anthem, "Land of the Free".

Also, prominent in the Garvey Movement, Samuel Haynes was once the President of the Pittsburgh Division, editor/writer for the Negro World and for a brief period the Official American Representative for the UNIA-ACL 1929 under the Honorable Marcus Garvey.

Selwyn Walford Young (1899-1977), usually known as Walford Young, was a Belizean musician and composer.