Archive for the 'Africa' Category

Flawed Heroines

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 09, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeQueen Njinga of Africa ruled Ndongo (located in present-day Angola) from 1624-1663. Despite her outstanding accomplishments, “Europeans at the time portrayed her as a bloodthirsty cannibal who thought nothing of murdering babies and slaughtering her enemies.” This is the conclusion that Linda Heywood, a Trinidadian professor of history at Boston University, arrives at in her new biography, Njinga of Angola: African Warrior Queen (2017).
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Celebrating Unnamed and Unfamed Trinidad and Tobago Women

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 12, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeLast Thursday, International Women’s Day (IWD), millions of women around the world celebrated “the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.” The day also marked “a call to action for accelerating gender parity.”

Their website reminded us that IWD has occurred “for well over a century, with the first March 8 IWD gathering supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.”
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My Gambian Journey

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 26, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeMonday’s disorder in East Port of Spain made me reflect on my recent visit to the Gambia where I participated in Mboka, a festival to celebrate Gambian as well as African diasporic heritage. Gambians “belong to the Senegambia region of West Africa, the general name given to the area drained by the Senegal and Gambia rivers” (Faal, A History of Gambia). Mboka or “One Family,” a Wolof word, is taken from the ethnic group of the same name.
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Contradictions & Counterfactuals – Pt 2

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 13, 2018

“…a state could never have been born without surplus.” —Yanis Varoufakis

PART 1 — PART 2

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn the nineteenth century Trinidad saw the first massive giveaway of lands and bonuses to the Indians in lieu of their passages to India. Those options were never available to Africans. This was the first step in the systematic dispossession of Africans in the land to which they had been brought. Few of us seem to remember it.

Fast-forward to one hundred and thirty years (around the year 2003) when a PNM government engineered another massive giveaway of lands, which is taking place in front of our eyes under the faulty premise that Indians had the first preference because they farmed the lands. This was/is strange logic since these lands belong to all nationals.
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In Tribute to John Campbell

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 23, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI met John Campbell around 1990. I had just finished writing my book on V. S. Naipaul and was beginning another manuscript on Trinidad and Tobago Intellectual Thought of the nineteenth century. I needed to hire some research assistants to assist me in my work. I asked the history department of the University of the West Indies (UWI) if it could assist me in this endeavor. This search yielded three wonderful assistants of whom John was one. This was my first contact with this brilliant and engaging young man with whom I had the pleasure of seeing about a week before he passed away.
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What is Behind the Military Coup in Zimbabwe?

By Gregory Elich
November 21, 2017 – gregoryelich.org

Zimbabwe WatchLong-roiling factional conflict within Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF political party exploded last week in a military coup that quickly seized control of the government and state media.

The coup was led by Commander of Zimbabwe Defense Forces Constantino Chiwenga, who is closely aligned with former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Emboldened by President Robert Mugabe’s declining mental sharpness and physical health in recent years, Mnangagwa actively maneuvered to ensure that he would succeed the president. Mnangagwa served as one of Zimbabwe’s two vice presidents. From that position, he and his supporters, known as Team Lacoste, became embroiled in a bitter struggle with younger party members who coalesced around Secretary of Women’s Affairs Grace Mugabe, wife of the president, and whose group was known as Generation 40, or G40.
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Timeo Beckles et Dona Ferentes

By Stephen Kangal
August 06, 2017

Stephen KangalThere can be at least three reactions to the question of lumping Indians and Africans together by Sir Hilary Beckles for advancing his money-based regional CARICOMesse reparations agenda:

1. One cannot trust Afro-Caribbean intellectuals to sincerely look after the interests of Caribbean Indians after they have been excluded in the first instance by CARICOM.
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MOST OF US ARE ALREADY EMANCIPATED, UNFORTUNATELY

By Corey Gilkes
August 01, 2017

EmancipationNo, I haven’t gone completely mad, just thought I’d try to grab your attention and so make you understand the importance of understanding what power words have.

Today is Emancipation Day, celebrating the ending of the enslavement of African people. You will hear the usual platitudes and speeches about how great we are and how we “broke the shackles of slavery”….and so on. Now as cynical as I’m sounding, those are important words to hear. So too are the sights of people walking around dressed in African or African-inspired attire, all that is praiseworthy.
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President Anthony Carmona: Pay for slavery

By Sean Douglas
August 01, 2017 – newsday.co.tt

President Anthony CarmonaPRESIDENT Anthony Carmona yesterday publicly supported a call to have European governments, whose countries benefited from slavery in the West Indies, to pay reparations to the descendants of African slaves.

In his Emancipation Day message, Carmona said TT should support the efforts of Caricom governments as expressed by Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies and Chairman of the Caricom Reparations Commission, in an address to the British House of Commons on July 16, 2014.
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Long Walk to Freedom – Part 2

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
July 16, 2017

PART 2

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThe Anti-Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa, offers an excellent exhibition on the life of Nelson Mandela, the most recognizable person of the twenty-first century. On one of the walls there is a quotation that is attributed to Aristotle, the Greek philosopher. It reads: “Good moral character is not something that we can achieve on our own. We need a culture that supports the condition under which self-love and friendship can flourish.”
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