Archive for the 'Race and Identity' Category

Declare Divali Nagar a National Festival

By Stephen Kangal
November 11, 2018

Stephen KangalThe current international outreach achieved by the annual Divali Nagar exposition having already cultivated cultural links with numerous Caribbean countries hitherto as the first platform, is something to be applauded as it redounds to enhancing the image of T&T as a multicultural destination to be visited by cultural enthusiasts and people of the Indian diaspora.

The Nagar has been in existence for more than 30 years and developed exponentially as a showcase for many things unique to the Indo-T&T population.
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Reparative Justice

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 01, 2018

When we think of restorative justice we must think of who was harmed and how we make them whole again.

—Marc Lamont Hill, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn November 23, 1850, the San Fernando Gazette announced the death of John Lamont, the second-largest slave owner in the island. It noted: “Mr. Lamont had arrived at the age of 65, the largest part of which he passed in this island [or Trinidad] where he had accumulated a very large fortune, by care, perseverance, and intelligence, accompanied by the strictest integrity, and marked by humor in all his transactions.”
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Preparing the Way for Kamla – Pt 2

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 11, 2018

PART 2

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn January 29, 2011 after the People’s Partnership government was elected, I participated in a conference on multiculturalism that was sponsored by the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) Trinidad and Tobago. Kamla and Sat were thick as thieves then and Kamla’s government decided that multiculturalism would be T&T’s cultural policy.
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Conrad Friedrich Stollmeyer – Pt 2

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 14, 2018

PART 1 — PART 2

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeTrinidad has always been seen as an exciting, exotic place. In 1498 after Columbus made his fourth and final voyage to the New World, he averred: “Gold is generated in sterile lands and wherever the sun is strong” (Hughes, Energy without Conscience). Around 1580 Sir Walter Raleigh left England to search for the fabled city of gold. V. S. Naipaul examined Raleigh’s obsession in The Loss of El Dorado.
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Conrad Friedrich Stollmeyer

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 07, 2018

PART 1 — PART 2

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIt goes without saying that human beings are complex people; none more so than Conrad Stollmeyer who came to Trinidad in 1844 under strange circumstances. He arrived after apprenticeship ended (1838), at a time when the ex-slaves were desperately trying to find plots of land to house themselves and their families, to cultivate their crops and tend to their animals.
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W. E. B. Du Bois’s Legacy

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
Posted: April 27, 2018


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Contradictions & Counterfactuals – Pt 3

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 20, 2018

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

PART 1PART 2 — PART 3

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeReading Ralph Maraj and Kamal Persad’s contributions, one would think that Eric Williams and the PNM were the worst things that ever happened to Trinidad and Tobago (T&T). They seem to suggest that if only Badase Sagan Maraj and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had won the 1956 general election T&T would have been a paradise.
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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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The Black Princess

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 05, 2017

Princess we are happy
You came our way
But unfortunately
You could not stay.

This is a welcome
That has no end
Please pay us a visit
Now and then.

— The Mighty Sparrow

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn 1955 Princess Margaret came to Trinidad to visit. Most of Her Majesty’s subjects felt elated. I attended Tacarigua AC School at the time. All of my fellow students lined the Churchill Roosevelt Highway with our flags (the Union Jack) to pay tribute to our princess. Two days later we headed down to the Queen’s Park Oval to give her a royal welcome.
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Love a Donkey: Besson’s Independence Fables – Pt 3

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 18, 2017

PART 1PART 2 – PART 3

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeBesson argues that Trinidad and Tobago’s independence venture failed because more than 30 percent of the African population left the country since1962. “These emigrants,” he says, “were mostly urban, secondary school educated, more or less middle class….At the same time, about the same amount of people or more than that of those who left, have come from the islands of the Caribbean.” He elaborates: “Those immigrants’ background were mostly rural and primary school educated. This unique demographic transformation has impacted on Trinidad and Tobago politically, socially and culturally, and has significantly diminished the identity of the AfroCreole [read black] sector.”
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