Archive for the 'Race and Identity' Category

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The Pope and the Pan: Challenging Caribbean Inferiority and Cultural Prostitution

By Ras Tyehimba
August 07, 2013

SteelpanThere was a picture recently of Pope Francis playing the Steelpan next to T&T president Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona who presented it to him as a gift. This picture was published by the media, several Steelpan websites and has made its way around various social media platforms. One website exclaimed: “Truly a great day for our nation and our national instrument! The pope is a Trini now!” Another Steelpan website expressed, “Steelpan is the sweetest!! Just ask the Pope.”
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The Blackness of Black or, How Black is Really Black?

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 06, 2013

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn responding to my article of her representation as to who was the first black legislator in Trinidad (see the Trinidad Express, July 26), Professor Bridget Brereton, one of our most distinguished historians, raised more questions than she answered even as she sought refuge in the philosophical theory called solipsism. Professor Brereton is unwilling to concede that St. Luce Philip possessed any blackness (or did he possess just a little bit?) because, as she says, he was of mixed race; light-complexioned; married a white wife and would not have considered himself black, nor would he have been so considered by Trinidad society in the 1830s.
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JACK WINS

By Andre Bagoo
Tuesday, July 30 2013 – newsday.co.tt

GordonJACK WARNER, 70, has been re-elected as the Member of Parliament for Chaguanas West, after provisional results from the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) last night projected him as the winner of the bye-election. It was a crushing victory.

Up until press time, Warner provisionally received 12,631 votes while the United National Congress’s (UNC) Khadijah Ameen, 32 – his nearest rival – received less than half that amount or 5,126 votes.
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Don’t Blame the Hindus or the Christians

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
July 04, 2013

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeTwo of my dear friends are reputed to have suggested that the Hindus and the Christians may be responsible for the plight of young Africans who find themselves in trouble with the law. They also seem to suggest that a Hindu-based government is to be blamed for out plight. I should hope that this is not what they intended to convey to the public. Such statements tend to inflame national feelings and deepen the national divide. I am a member of the PNM and count myself to be as conscious of my blackness as anyone else. However, I think we ought to be careful about what we say.
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Happy Indian Arrival Ki Din

By Stephen Kangal
May 29, 2013

Stephen KangalOn the occasion of the 168th anniversary of the commemoration of the arrival of the East Indian community to Trinidad may I focus on the post-arrival vindication and justification of the system of Indus Valley customs and values. This tried and tested system has underpinned, dominated and pervaded the modus operandi of the East Indians and has been responsible for the degree of fulfilling lives and good law-abiding citizenry that they have conducted in T&T in spite of the adversarial conditions and hostile and negative environmental and social conditions that they had to overcome to gain acceptance to their culturally persistent way of life.
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Indian Indentureship: Afri-centric Analysis

By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
May 29, 2013

Dr. Kwame NantambuThe purpose of this article is to conduct an Afri-centric, linkage analysis of the Indian Indentureship system.

In his magnum opus titled Capitalism & Slavery (1944), Dr. Eric Williams postulates that: “The immediate successor of the Amerindians was not the African but ‘poor whites’. They were regarded as ‘indentured servants’ because before leaving England, they had to sign a contract binding them to service for a stipulated period for their passage. Others were criminals/convicts who were sent by the British government to serve for a specific time on plantations in the Caribbean.” (p.9).
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Selwyn Cudjoe Speaks on the Life of Tony Martin

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
[Celebration & Remembrance of Tony Martin, Wellesley College,
Wednesday, May 1, 2013.]

Professor Tony MartinI met Tony Martin when I arrived at Harvard University in 1976. Although we were both born in Trinidad, we had not met each other prior to that time. Tony was born in Port of Spain, the capital of the country; I was born in Tacarigua, a village about twelve miles east of Port of Spain. Tony had studied at St. Mary’s College, one of the elite colleges of the country; I had remained at St. Mary’s Anglican Church School, as a pupil teacher or practicing teacher under supervision of other teachers. In the course of things, Tony went off to England “to further his studies” as we say at home. I went to the States. By then he had written Race First: The Ideological and Organizational Struggles of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Improvement Association, a book that came to define his scholarly career and which the late, great John Henrik Clarke described as being “close to a definitive study of Marcus Garvey as we have seen.” Other than our mutual national origins, my interest in Tony Martin grew because I was using Race First in my class and wanted to know more about Tony and what had gone into the writing of his book. In December of 1987, a year and a half after I arrived at Wellesley, Tony presented me with a copy of his book that was inscribed, “To a brother and a colleague, with Best wishes.” I still possess a copy of that book, but this is getting ahead of my story.
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Minister Suruj Rambachan says he is not a racist


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Ignorant Negroes/Tyrannical Masters: William Burnley and the Caribbean Slave Experience

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
Published: April 05, 2013 – trinicenter.com

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn the 1950s when I was growing up in Tacarigua, Trinidad, West Indies, there existed a large, faded mansion in the Orange Grove Savannah that had seen the last of its glories. It stood there as a colossus on this magnificent expanse of land which, at that time, was one of the largest savannah in the country second only to the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain, the capital of Trinidad. It reminded one of the glorious days of a time long past. I was a young boy then and could not have known that in this residence there once lived one of the most important men in the West Indies during the first half of the nineteenth century.
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Mishra pleads for Govt to stop Indian trade fairs

By Camille Bethel
March 20, 2013
Originally printed at
www.trinidadexpress.com/news/Mishra_pleads_for_Govt_to_stop_Indian_trade_fairs-199283991.html

lettersIndian High Commissioner Malay Mishra is calling on the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to stop the Indian trade fairs that are operating in this country.

Speaking at yesterday’s business forum held by the High Commission of India, in collaboration with the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce, at the chamber building in Westmoorings, Mishra said the Indian government distances itself from the activities of the “so-called” Indian trade fairs.
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