Archive for the 'Culture' Category

Love A Donkey: Besson’s Independence Fables – Pt 2

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 10, 2017

PART 1 – PART 2 – PART 3

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn “Independence Legacies,” Gerard Besson offers his reading of Trinidad’s modern history. He says: “From 1783, Europeans and Black people who were not enslaved… arrived mostly from French islands. Many were refugees, political enemies and strangers to each other.… After the British conquest of 1797 to this milieu were added Chinese, Portuguese, and African freedmen. Then after much miscegenation, some decades later, Indian indentureship commenced, and latterly [sic] the Lebanese and Syrians arrived” (my emphasis).
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Love a Donkey: Besson’s Independence Fables – Pt 1

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 03, 2017

PART 1 – PART 2PART 3

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI always marvel when relatively intelligent people say silly things about Africans and our past because of their color or class position. In “Independence Legacies” Gerard Besson offers a mishmash of information, which suffers from factual, interpretive, and definitional flaws. Besson is more concerned with trotting out an ideological position rather than with offering an analytical argument to support his contentions. It’s almost as though his “Creoleness” exempts him from treating his subject matter with the academic rigor it deserves.
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Dependency syndrome must end

By Marlene Augustine
July 31, 2017 – newsday.co.tt

Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts Dr Lincoln DouglasTHOSE in leadership positions need to do more to wean citizens off of an acute dependence on State assistance, former Minister in the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts Dr Lincoln Douglas said yesterday.
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Brek-UP, Brek-DOWN Society – Part 3

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 05, 2017

PART 3

Jasmattie live in bruk-
Down hut big like Bata shoe-box,
Beat clothes, weed yard, chop wood, feed fowl
For this body and that body and every blasted body
Fetch water, all day like if the
Whole slow-flowing Canje river God create
Just for she one bucket.

David Dabydeen, “Coolie Mother”

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeAll of us in Trinidad and Tobago were nurtured in Bruk-UP, Bruk-DOWN huts, big like a Bata shoe-box as David Dabydeen’s Guyanese example suggests. Even Eusebio Atanasio Valerio, an exemplary Amerindian ancestor, who documented his life in Sieges and Fortunes of a Trinidadian, lived in a hut in forested Arima. In Tacarigua, up until the 1960s, an Indian barracks stood at the back of the Orange Grove Sugar Estates (OG). Twelve of the first batch of Indians who came to Trinidad in 1845 were sent to OG where they joined the 265 African workers who were employed there at the time.
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A Brek-UP, Brek-DOWN Society – Part 2

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 29, 2017

PART 2

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeSooner rather than later I am going to ask Reggie Dumas to take the Trinidad and Tobago Government (T&T G) to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for their wanton destruction of historic sites in our country. In September of last year the ICC sentenced Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi to nine years in prison for “‘intentionally directing’ attacks on nine Timbuktu’s mausoleums and the centuries-old door of its Sidi mosque in 2012.” The judge hoped such a stiff punishment “will deter other attacks on heritage sites around the world.” (London Guardian, September 27, 2016)
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Indian Tribalism

By Raffique Shah
May 19, 2017

Raffique ShahI did a double-take upon reading Freddie Kissoon’s post-May Day column in the Kaieteur News of Guyana. I don’t know Kissoon personally, but I do know that he’s an activist and a writer who is not averse to controversy, who writes as he sees things, damn the consequences.
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A Tribute to The Baritone of Chutney

By Stephen Kangal
January 07, 2017

Stephen KangalIt is with deep sadness that the national community and the T&T diaspora received the news of the untimely and premature demise of the late Anand Yankarran, the veritable baritone singer of the chutney genre of music.
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On this “Dress” Code for teachers

TeacherTHE EDITOR: I can NOT believe that a new dress code for teachers is an issue. Really?! Wasn’t the existing one clear-cut enough?

Be that as it may, if true, it is welcome. Welcome in the sense that it serves to illuminate some of the elephants crowding the room that conservatives and the wilfully ignorant among us – i.e many of the over-40 age group – have no intention of discussing. You see in the wording of current guidelines (and no doubt the new one) there is a distinct gender bias, but that’s apparently okay with many people, including radio talk show hosts and their callers.
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Every Cook Can Govern

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 19, 2016

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday of this week, the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival shall premier “Every Cook Can Govern: The Life, Impact & Works of C. L. R. James,” a film that was produced by Worldwrite, an English non-profit or charity organization. The producers describe this documentary as “The world’s first film on the life of a fearless and uncompromising revolutionary.” There is much truth in advertising here. “Every Cook Can Govern” is a well-crafted and informative film about one of Trinidad and Tobago’s most distinguished intellectuals and Marxist theoreticians.
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A Cry for Social Justice

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 05, 2016

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn his article “Black Caucus, Black Humor,” Raymond Ramcharitar pours scorn on the BCM’s (Black Caucus Movement) demand for “land in Caroni for ‘Africans’ and saying it’s a love thing” (Guardian, August 17). He sought to reduce its position to “black humor” and to deride its claim for social justice it wishes to bring to the public’s attention.
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