Category Archives: Passed on

Selwyn Ryan and T&T’s intellectual tradition

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 28, 2022

“Death is not an interruption of Being, but a necessary part of it, and the condition of our immortality… We shall die, but we shall not perish.”

—Charles W Warner, “The Fear of Death”

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn the preface to his semi-autobiographical Beyond a Boundary (1963), CLR James informs his readers that his book poses the question, “What do they know of cricket who only cricket know? To answer involves ideas as well as facts.” (James’ italics.)

I have always interpreted this injunction to mean that the significance of cricket to West Indian people lies in our over-standing (to use a Rastafarian idiom) of the social and cultural milieu out of which this inspiring game comes, and how well it speaks to our possibilities as a people.
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‘The Other Selwyn’

By Selwyn Cudjoe
March 22, 2022

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeWe fondly called each other “The Other Selwyn”, in terms of friendship and endearment. Although I never knew Selwyn Ryan, the other Selwyn, as well as others did, over time we grew to admire and respect each other’s work, and genuinely liked each other a lot. Sadly, he died a week ago.

I suspect our mutual admiration came from the fact that we both received our doctorates from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. When I arrived at Cornell in 1972, I could not get over the fact that another Trinidadian had attended Cornell and wrote his dissertation on nationhood in Trinidad and ­Tobago.
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Abu Bakr dies at 80

By Jensen La Vende
October 21, 2021 – newsday.co.tt

Jamaat al-Muslimeen leader Yasin Abu BakrDAYS after celebrating his 80 birthday Imam Yasin Abu Bakr has died.

Bakr, formerly Lennox Phillip, was the leader of the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen which attempted to overthrow the NAR government on July 27, 1990.

Police reported that Bakr, a diabetic, collapsed at his home at Long Circular Road, St James on Thursday night and was taken to the St James Health Facility where he was declared dead.
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The Passing of the Pointer Man

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 23, 2021

PART 2

EL TUCUCHE can be made the symbol of our greatest achievements—it is graced with the sovereignty that represents our transcendent power over Douendom where we are still held in disarray and ignorance. Above all, is Aripo, symbolically, the Eye am that Eye am, the one God in whose house there are many mansions, and to which many are the paths!

—LeRoy Clarke, Parables of Our Joyless Days

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn the 1950s a modern phase of T&T’s artistic development revealed itself in the paintings of M. P. Alladin, Geoffrey and Boscoe Holder, Leo Basso, Alfred Codallo, and Carlisle Chang. In “Painting in Trinidad and Tobago,” Pat Bishop declared: “These painters were not merely taking the brave step of painting in black face but were also prepared to participate in the modification or destruction of traditional image making.”
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The Passing of the Pointer Man

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 16, 2021

PART 1

“I maintain that art at its best reveals to us the fullness of what it means to be human.”

—Ben Okri, The Theatre Diaries

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeNo creative personality writes, paints or sculpts outside of his/her time and place. Necessarily a product of his history and his geography, s/he always tries to cast a light on the perils that confront his people. In so doing, s/he reflects on the truths and failings of humanity as well. LeRoy Clarke, our master-blaster, resided in that elevated region of greatness. He took on the persona “The Eye” to illuminate the perils that confronted his nation. In the words of our Orisha devotees, he was a Seer (he would have said Obeah) man, who strove assiduously to illumine the darkness that enveloped his people.
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Joker, the Bard of Trinidad

By Raffique Shah
June 28, 2021

Raffique ShahI imagine that like me, most calypso aficionados first became aware of the existence of the late Winsford ‘Joker’ Devine when, in 1980, a virtually unknown calypsonian, ‘King’ Austin Lewis, emerged as a favourite for the calypso monarch title in his debut appearance, singing Devine’s record-breaking composition, ‘Progress’. The affable Austin didn’t win the title, running second to accomplished performer Lord Relator.
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The legacy of Terrence Clarke

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 10, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeTerrence Clarke was on the cusp of achieving the goal to which he had aspired for the 19 years of his life: a career in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

In 2021, he was regarded as one of the best shooting guards in US colleges and universities (Kentucky Wildcats Basketball). All the major professional basketball teams wanted him to be a part of their programmes, but he wanted to play for the Boston Celtics. Terrence idolised Rajon Rondo, a member of the Boston Celtics from 2006 to 2014, and an elite member of the NBA.
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A Search for Qadir

By Raffique Shah
March 15, 2021

Raffique ShahLast Sunday, I marked my 75th year on this earth. It was a milestone of sorts, but no great achievement at a time when many people go way past that number, and remain very healthy and fit into their 80s, all praise to them.

My birthday was marred by the mal-effects of crippling, Parkinson’s Disease that I’ve had to cope with since I was 66. Worse than that, the day before, my extended family was struck numb by news that one of my nephews, Qadir, had drowned off Paria bay, and his body had not been recovered. Sadness overwhelmed us, as it always does when someone as young as he was, thirty, and full of life, had met such an abrupt end to what was a promising life.
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‘Granny’ Luces: Making of an Icon

By Raffique Shah
february 22, 2021

Raffique Shah“There’s an old lady here…she says she wants to register to run the marathon…I don’t know what to do…can you come and sort this out?”

It was sometime in March 1984, and we were organising the second Mirror Marathon later (The Trinidad and Tobago International Marathon). We had successfully staged the inaugural race in April 1983, and were excited about the second edition. The response from would-be marathoners was enthusiastic. We expected to have more than 500 entrants, up from the 300 who had run last year’s race.
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Candles, tears and selected outrage

By Aileen Alexis
February 11, 2021

lettersThe kidnapping and murder of a young court clerk, Andrea Bharratt has evoked strong emotions from a wide cross-section of the Trinibagonian population. Protests, vigils and calls for legislation regarding the use of non-lethal weapons such as pepper spray and tasers, and the resumption of hangings have all become some of the manifestations of these emotions.
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