Time to reject “Black Friday” concept

By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
December 22, 2010

1900 Campaign poster for the Republican PartyAccording to long-standing societal acceptable norms, the Friday after Thanksgiving Day in the United States is regarded as “Black Friday.”

Indeed, one would have thought that with the anomalous election of America’s first African-American/Black President that the race-relations gap in this country has narrowed considerably. One would have assumed also that as a result of this presidential first that the need to colour any national event would have been relegated to the ash heap of America’s racial-cultural history.

However, this is not the reality on Friday, 26 November, 2010.

The fact of the matter is that African-American/Black consumers who shop till they drop on the Friday after Thanksgiving Day only comprise 12 percent of the national population; so, how is this day “Black Friday?”

Moreover, the vast majority of employees in America’s stores/malls on that day are not Black; so, why is this day called “Black Friday?”

The majority of America’s stores/mall owners are not African-American/Black; so, how is this day “Black Friday?”

Indeed, these store/mall owners reap massive profit on that day and the colour of the money they accumulate is still green; so, how does this day of profit maximization suddenly becomes “Black Friday?” These business owners do not collect Black money, as in dollars.

Ergo, now is the time for stores/mall owners to balance their books with green ink, not Black ink.

And even the stuff, as in snow, on America’s Interstate highways, streets, roads, bridges, etc., is not Black; so, why is this day called “Black Friday?”

Indeed, the crucial questions that immediately come to the fore are: Is there a specific White Day celebrated in the United States? Is there a specific Yellow Day celebrated in America? Is there a specific Brown Day celebrated in the United States? And, most importantly, why then is this putative stigma only assigned to the colour Black?

In addition, another situation in which the colour Black is assigned involves the Flight Data Recorder in a plane. Now, when the plane takes off, this instrument’s original colours are orange and yellow. However, not wishing, the plane crashes, then, this original orange and yellow instrument is suddenly called the “Black Box.” How and why is that?

Now is the time in the era of racial inclusiveness for all Americans and the international community to totally reject the concept of “Black Friday.”

This writer asserts that the concept of “Black Friday” conjures up a modicum of disrespect for America’s first Black President, by accident or design. On the flip side, why wasn’t this day celebrated as “White Friday” when a White-American was President?

Now is the time for all Americans and the international community to regard this day for what is actually is, namely, the Friday after Thanksgiving Day— that’s all it is. It’s a colour-blind day.

Now is the critical time to heal the racial divide in America and around the world.

Now is the time for One America and one humanity to co-exist. Racial/colour divisiveness is self-destructive and should be avoided/opposed/rejected at all cost.

In the spirit of American patriotism and global harmony all human beings need to embrace each other as one, 24-7-365.

In the final analysis, Americans and the international community need to heed the poignant but apocalyptic admonition of slain African-American Civil Rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as follows:

“Now the judgement of God is upon us and we must either learn to live together as brothers or we are all going to perish together as fools.”

The election of Barack Obama as America’s first Black President is the overt signal to reject the concept /notion of “Black Friday.” Change, “Yes, We can.”

The celebration of Christmas is another story.

Shem Hotep ( “I go in peace”).

Dr. Kwame Nantambu is a part-time lecturer at Cipriani College of Labour and Co-operative studies.

27 Responses to “Time to reject “Black Friday” concept”


  • Black Friday has nothing to do with race. The term started being used somewhere around 1966 by the Philadelphia Police Department to describe their feelings about the traffic and other problems associated with the start of the Christmas shopping season. Since businesses and shoppers see this as a positive thing it began being used in a POSITIVE context. So I really don’t see the point of this article unless this is part of a crusade to remove any negative association with the word black because it happens to also be a word used to describe people of African descent. Even then the venom dished out to Black Friday which is seen as a positive thing seems misplaced. I suppose to be fair we should also fight against ANY connotation attached to ANY color. Thus white being pure or good. Blue being cool. Red being firey or hot or daring. Black being evil or baddass etc. I imagine this will cause a great deal of trouble for anyone who has to design anything.

    To me this all just seems misguided and silly.

    • Lesterf, I agree with you. It’s is this type of silliness that is causing many Africans to be misguided. he spent a whole article with this nonesense when our African children are being murdered by other African children and adults. That is where he should be spending his energies.

    • “thou fool” It is a term which indicates the amount of sales a store gets that day which sends ther margins from the red into the black hence the term “BLACK FRIDAY”

  • The concept of ‘Black Friday’ has nothing to do with color. It is a financial concept of saying that when business is properous it is in the black and whenit is suffering loses it is in the red. Please Mr. Nantambu, Africans have more important problems that for you to spend so much time on this silly item. The murder situation in Trinbago where African youths are killing African youths, African Elders, African Women, African children and others deserves your immediate and tireless attention.

    • You are correct Sir, again here is a perfect example of someone inciting unnecessary racial tension due to ignorance.
      I hope the good Dr. Kwame Nantambu would no the right thing and post a retraction for the “black eye” (if I can use that term) he is is trying to give the American people.

  • The “black box” was called that because, like most aircraft equipment, it was black. It was only when they realized that it was tough to find after a crash that they changed the color to orange/yellow. No one in the industry calls it a black box because that would confuse it with “black box testing” which are tests that involve the box being tested unopened, as opposed to white box testing where you can open the box and fiddle with the electronics.

    “black” is also used for some positive things, such as being in the black with your bank account (as opposed to being in the red – in debt).

    Nobody associates black people with any of the above, and black people are brown in color anyway!

  • Like the other respondents said, Black Friday has nothing to do with race. It is actually viewed as a positive event, from which many Black people benefit.
    This professor should focus on more worthwhile topics, as his country bleeds with runaway Black crime, carried out by desperate individuals, deprived of opportunity and the wealth of which most Trinis boast.
    And before Neal responds with great outrage, he should the crime statistics in T&T, which support my statement.

  • Ok guys , stop trying to beat up the good Doc simply due to the fact that you either misinterpret the object of his article, or more appropriately ,choose to ignore it. It all about respect my friends, as we gravitate towards meaningful changes.
    To reiterate his more poignant point , “Now is the time for One America and one humanity to co-exist. Racial/colour divisiveness is self-destructive and should be avoided/opposed/rejected at all cost.In the spirit of American patriotism and global harmony all human beings need to embrace each other as one, 24-7-365.”
    Now perhaps , we can transfer this same idea to our own country, and enjoy the more positive returns for all, as opposed to the reactionary passing, of 1 million more unenforceable laws , each time a psychologically traumatized , and historically humiliated, person lash out as they only know how, yes?
    In ending,let me add, that folks like the Doctor , is not your enemy, as he would not be the one taking a sawed off shot gun (acquired from a businessman container) to take out a rich elitist family,or a rival for some of the unwholesome products ,that was also brought into our country by -again- unscrupulous crooks ,and bandits ,pretending to be lofty business entities.
    Pay attention to symbols, be honest with yourselves , and try to work together for common good. Here is one of our Black Socratic musical brothers!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMGyvOGt6Us&feature=related

    Love country over tribe, as the results for failure so to do can be dire.

  • A little research would have saved the good Doc a bit of embarrassment, now we have a perfect example of blind leading the blind when Neal jumped in, it seems like this Doc get his qualification the same place Codjoe got his.
    Why don’t we just remove the word “black” all together in an effort to not offend black people, allyuh is something else yes.

  • “Why don’t we just remove the word “black” all together in an effort to not offend black people.” Nah morougamax , let it stay.We ain’t have no problem when your tribal chiefs and head gurus such as Dr Goopiesing, Sat, and one time journalist com AG Ramlogan, and legal carpetbagger Dana Seetahal ,were marshaling the troops , with their anti African vitriolic mentra, pro brown people Indian , dis & dat, before May 24th, when power seemed to be a far distant dream, so we would likewise live today , with the two esteemed doctors, ehh? In addition, think of the benefits to your nation when black folks can get to appreciate themselves via self love, as it means the murder rates would be curb.
    Remember we cannot love others , unless we truly love ourselves, right? If you doubt that ask your globally recognize Nobelist V.S. Naipaul.
    Tell me folks how could you not like even though you pity this naive sentimental creature that refer to himself as morougamax. A few weeks ago he was he loved our Afrocentric Doctor as he was straddling the fence as it were in praise of the PP government, and throwing pot shot at the past PNM. Today however , he has nothing but contempt for the man. A month ago he was happy , though suspicious of Dr Cudjoe , as the man , perhaps to sell some books ,was cuddling up on the same couch with his head guru Uncle Sat , today the Doc , is a self serving political threat to him- though why, beats me. In the past both him and former Chaguarnas Mayor Dr Suraj Rambachan , would have personally strangled the politically savvy Jack Warner, as he first went after Queen Kamla , and then cut short the one time mayor’s Central stranglehold, but today his head is all tied up in the jockstrap of the big time money maker , and political player Jack . Go figure,what they taught these clown in school.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jA9tmm4_To&feature=related

    Yeah brother morougamax, we know how much you love them “Black petty booshwah,”appeasing , self loathing folks , such as Eric Williams ,ANR Robinson , and a few unmentionables that make up the PP today ,who bend over in repeated limbo dances, to advance others causes, at the expense of their own.
    I suggest that you jokers , try and understand big picture socio – economic – com political operations my friend, as we have little sympathy for greedy dogs looking at their reflections, while crossing the Caroni Bridge ,that’s unsatisfied with the large bones locked in their jaws , yet still choose to grab for that which rightfully belongs to others.
    Love country over tribe, as we the astute are on to your petty games.

  • Dr. you can’t be serious.Being in the red means you are in debt. So I guess that is offensive to “Red” people. Look Have a Merry Xmas and a Black(Prosperous) New Year.

  • The article is empty. Nothing in there makes realistic sense. To me black Friday (for shopping in American) and any Friday that’s the 13 is a day too be careful). I do not relate this to race. And this writer is writing race. He should use those many words to help us humans live together now better than before.
    The human race is already a race. It’s like a suit of clothes different colours for different days, makes life interesting.

  • This time I concur with the majority of respondents to this article that “black Friday” or “black Box” are difficult to associate with “blackness” or skin colour. In accounting and fdinancial circles (especially long ago), negative numbers were written in red and positive in black, so it naturally follows in buisiness jargon black is POSITIVE and red NEGATIVE. It is that simple and I too suggest that the good Dr. should use his time more fruitfully.

  • http://www.trinidadandtobagonews.com/forum/webbbs_config.pl/read/4060

    It’s the season to be jolly, and in addition, I enjoy reading the refreshing commentaries of a fellow progressive. As such , I won’t respond negatively to him, especially as I think he might just be indulging in ‘one oh dem play dead to catch cobeaux alive maneuvers,’I too occasionally engage in,to get at dem ,uncouth, borderline illiterate, logic deficient creatures ,that traverse this here information highway, with too much frequency for my taste.
    To all others ,I say take aside and leave not only Dr Kwame Nantambu alone , but also his intellectual contemporary, Dr Cudjoe- who remains one of the few voices of reason ,crying out in the Trini wilderness,for long overdue ,scio- economic -com political justice , in the wake of de still shellshocked ,and seemingly clueless ,comatose Opposition .
    For the record , you power obsessed folks, and ecstatic fans , May 24th 2010, was not a green light to run roughshod over our country’s already fledging democracy , by attacking cart-blanch every Afrocentric thinker,socially conscious leader , and fervently patriotic people ,that sacrificed so much in the interest of this country with little returns for their efforts.
    History would show the great harm that can accrue when authentic voices , prefer to fall asleep, as opposed to holding power brokers hands to the fire , simply because they are too busy pandering to competitive rival tribes , while spending their 30 pieces of silver , obtained as hush monies . Just think how much quicker this ghastly , dehumanizing system could have been ended in SA, if some had the guts to stand up and fight , as opposed to rolling over in appeasement to European barbarians, , yes?

    http://wiki.ulwazi.org/index.php5?title=Indian_South_Africans

    In T&T , we the astute , should never hesitate to ‘take in front before in front take us’ , ehhh?
    Now, if some of us understood nuance writing , and were not so caught up on the blog’s title of Black Friday, we would recognize that the author’s bigger concerns were for trying to save America, and wider humanity, by focusing on obvious economic disparities within a population, whose ancestors help build it up , and received no compensations whatsoever as a result. Since 1945 , millions of that county citizen’s lives were sacrificed in effort to bring true peace, democracy , and capitalist prosperity across the globe. It has failed miserably as a leader , even as late as the Iraq, and Afghanistan military fiascos , since at home ,most of it’s dominant elites , never escaped the shadows of their nation’s neo racial ugliness, and was ably assisted by recently arriving fringe group immigrants , prepared to walk lockstep in the same partway. This was avidly portrayed through the centuries via socially negative policies, and tokenisms to elitist ,selfish , ideological puppets.
    Ever so often, both in Europe and the global hegemonic fiefdom referred to as the USA, a spark would ignite , as the disgruntled and frustrated ,overwhelmed with their disgusting realities ,would lash out , causing wanton mayhem , and destructions. Let’s hope that we in “Sweet, Sweet, T&T , aka Rainbow Country,” can take a cue, and thereby wet our collective houses.
    Time to show respect for the other , and especially, some appreciation for what Black folks – even with their numerous flaws -have done in contributing to the development of this land. Love country over tribe,fellow Trinis, as the price for failure so to do can be quite dire, yes?

  • Black is beautiful in this case Doc!.it’s an Accounting term for the profit margin.Black Friday is supposed to get you out of the red(negative).no need to over react.

  • Now that’s what we like Mohammad,solidarity from one of our black Muslim,South Asian byproduct brothers.
    I can see our two Afrocentric Doctors, smiling.Red negative,black neutral,and white positive?What a load of crock! You guys still ain’t get it. Just luv your country in a tangible wa, & forget the stupid tribe.

  • Obviously the way in which this article has been written has failed to make its point to many people who have chosen to post a comment.

    1. The way language is used by a culture has a purpose and in the case of the word ‘black’ it is often has negative connotations. This is not a new observation but it seems to many of the people who have made comments here to be of no interest or importance. I would argue that in the same way white populations protect their self image people of other colours should do the same. If you consider yourself to be Black here is a definition of the word for you.

    The term Black Friday was born out of a negative observation. To argue that it is NOW a day of celebration totally misses the point. You might also argue that we should go round calling Black people Niggers because that term is being used in some rap music so the original meaning is lost.

    The ‘black box’ was not a good example to use granted but below you can find a whole slew of negative associations with the word black.

    Racism needs to be confronted from all angles. To argue that the use of language from which we draw our cultural identity is naive at best.

    BLACK–adjective 1. lacking hue and brightness; absorbing light without reflecting any of the rays composing it. 2. characterized by absence of light; enveloped in darkness: a black night. 3. (sometimes initial capital letter) a. pertaining or belonging to any of the various populations characterized by dark skin pigmentation, specifically the dark-skinned peoples of Africa, Oceania, and Australia. b. African-American. 4. soiled or stained with dirt: That shirt was black within an hour. 5. gloomy; pessimistic; dismal: a black outlook. 6. deliberately; harmful; inexcusable: a black lie. 7. boding ill; sullen or hostile; threatening: black words; black looks. 8. (of coffee or tea) without milk or cream. 9. without any moral quality or goodness; evil; wicked: His black heart has concocted yet another black deed. 10. indicating censure, disgrace, or liability to punishment: a black mark on one’s record. 11. marked by disaster or misfortune: black areas of drought; Black Friday. 12. wearing black or dark clothing or armor: the black prince. 13. based on the grotesque, morbid, or unpleasant aspects of life: black comedy; black humor. 14. (of a check mark, flag, etc.) done or written in black to indicate, as on a list, that which is undesirable, sub-standard, potentially dangerous, etc.: Pilots put a black flag next to the ten most dangerous airports. 15. illegal or underground: The black economy pays no taxes. 16. showing a profit; not showing any losses: the first black quarter in two years. 17. deliberately false or intentionally misleading: black propaganda. 18. British. boycotted, as certain goods or products by a trade union. 19. (of steel) in the form in which it comes from the rolling mill or forge; unfinished. –noun 20. the color at one extreme end of the scale of grays, opposite to white, absorbing all light incident upon it. 21. (sometimes initial capital letter) a. a member of any of various dark-skinned peoples, esp. those of Africa, Oceania, and Australia. b. African-American. 22. black clothing, esp. as a sign of mourning: He wore black at the funeral. 23. Chess, Checkers. the dark-colored men or pieces or squares. 24. black pigment: lamp black. 25. Slang. black beauty. 26. a horse or other animal that is entirely black. –verb (used with object) 27. to make black; put b

  • There is but one conclusion I came to after traversing this here information highway , over the past two or more years, folks. It can be encapsulated in the following quote I personally put together :- “Never attempt to make a man , or woman love you, that never even work out their own destructive demons,which essentially, prevents them from loving even themselves in the first place.”
    It just ain’t happening, even if you preach until the cows come home. Nevertheless,we are a beautiful beautiful butterfly, and that’s all that matters!
    http://english.pravda.ru/science/earth/25-09-2006/84646-africa-0/

    We are all Africans , from the cradle of humanity!

    http://www.africawithin.com/jeffries/africa_birthplace.htm

    Now can we all get along , since “all ah we ah one family,” according to lord Nelson.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mESdMtriyes&feature=related

  • Sophie yuh paranoid… What next, tell the Chinese they are offending Black people because the BLACK BELT symbolizes the Highest level one can attain in a VIOLENT sport?
    It’s true the ‘modern’ English language does have it roots in Slavery…. Blackmail, Blacklist and on and on..
    But Black Friday did slip the architects…
    Personally, we need Black Friday in T&T.. Black people (African) need to be involve in business venture so they can walk in the BLACK.. Instead of preparing themselves to work for someone else their whole life.. Walking in Blood (Red).

  • Need I say more missing the point again Gemma… I am not particularly interested in the terms black friday and black belt specifically if I am honest.

    To quibble over specific examples such as these is to UNDERMINE the importance of language and literature in the DIRECTION that ANY society choses to DEVELOP.

    The point is not specific examples but the wider use of language as a divisive tool which to a certain extent in the case of West Africans ALLOWED slavery to persist as long as it did.

    BTW it is not wholly true to state that most of these terms are born out of slavery. In actual fact the term black has had negative connotations which actually predate slavery. Therefore for an educated European to ascribe the term black in reference to people who are actually not black at all at a time when so many were ignorant and illiterate served to de-humanise with the purpose of enslaving. Brown would not have brought with it so much of the devil/sinfulness and un-Godliness that black did at the time.

    If as some people are suggesting language and by extension culture is not important

    1. Why then did the Europeans involved in the trans-atlanitc slave trade go to such great lengths to destroy the language and culture of the enslaved people.

    2. Why as YOU suggest did so many negative words relating to the word ‘black’ spring up around the time of slavery? And why in 1966 American did cabbies and police officers CHOOSE the word BLACK to describe a day of high crime and road traffic issues which caused problems for them. And why later on did retailers feel the need to remove the negative perspective of the term by announcing the reference to BLACK would now be in relation to its use in accounting terms and distanced itself from the original meaning.

    3. The ‘black belt’ example ASSUMES that the Far East developed with a euro-centric outlook. THIS IS A DANGEROUS VIEW if you are not a European in my opinion because it shows that your world view is essentially Euro-centric and perhaps you are not best placed to give opinions on this matter from an Afro-centric perspective. I don’t think that at the time that the system was developed, and even now, you would find any self respecting oriental who refers to themselves as YELLOW in the company of their own people. (Unless of course they were brought up in a Europeanised country and those same people would think nothing of using bleaching creams so they could be less yellow). They were called yellow by European people and in Hong Kong and China where I have lived, it is highly offensive and demeaning to say the least. Having lived in a number of countries in Asia and the Middle East and being second generation Black British I have seen first hand how various groups chose to present themselves and how they really are. ALL non-Europeans have their issues about skin colour/tone, eye shape, face shape height and body shape.

    Some groups work better at trying to elevate the position of their people in what is essentially a Euro-centric world. Very rarely do Jewish people air their dirty laundry in public for example. They recognise the importance of words and even as a tiny group have put certain words into common usage with a purpose. As an example, every other group can become a victim of racism but racism towards a Semetic Jew is no longer just racism but something deeper and more dangerous it is ‘Anti-Semitism’ and conjours up images of The (Jewish) Holocaust. More power to them that they are so SELF determining rather than just going along with the frameworks that previously existed.

    The Japanese have had their fair share of drama in recent history but have drawn on their language culture and traditions to get people the world over paying huge sums to eat what is essentially peasant food. They are a fiercely protectionist people and have prospered like the Jewish community because of that. They would never consider having a Yellow day in their own country.

    It seems that many people in the Black diaspora in the UK Caribbean and US in particular are ill informed about their history other than the fact that their people were once slaves or as I would prefer to put it enslaved people. No doubt the subtlty of words that are constantly being banned around is lost on some. Destruction meted out on the on those Black Populations that were directly affected is still having an impact on Black people today.

    I agree that we should ‘chose our battles’. It is time to stop talking about the terms Black Friday and Black Belts these examples do not illustrate the key issue here. But since these points are raised it is only fair to address those specific examples.

    With regards to the existence of Black Friday EVERY DAY in TnT should be a BLACK business day surely! To marginalise the Black economy in such a way in as I understand it, a majority Black country is a complete JOKE. YOU are the majority, every day is your day for goodness sake. YOU allocate days to your minorities. Over here we have a Black History month in October BECAUSE it enjoys no special attention any other time of year… Are you really suggesting that Black businesses in TnT enjoy no special attention the rest of the year. If this is the case then surely this must be a major concern for the development of the whole country.

    I think it is also fair to say that the nature of the day in the US where black friday originated and in TnT is not the same. A day for celebrating black business and enterprise in the US it is not! IN FACT when Black Friday was conceived there was still racial segregation in the USA! It is important when brushing aside other peoples ideas to look at the HISTORICAL CONTEXT and the community from which this term developed in which events take place… The term came in to use in 1966 when there was still racial segregation in the USA. It was an underground term used by white working class male cab drivers and police officers and only came in to public use associated with the sale period later. In an effort to DISTANCE themselves from the negative connotations of the original meaning of the term RETAILERS chose to promote the use of Black in relation to accounting terms. This was 15 years later when the country was trying to be a little more politically correct.

    The concept of celebrating Black ACHIEVEMENTS in Business and enterprise on a specific day in TnT is one that should receive more attention. Black friday was conceived to mark the beginning of sales, which brought with it more crime, bad traffic and a huge number of people to police in the run up to Christmas. I say separate the two and give Black Businesses the respect they deserve.

    One final and very important point before I stop waffling.

    President Barrack Obama is not JUST the first Black president of the United States. He is more importantly the FIRST NON ANGLO SAXON President. This better illustrates how much he has attained because it shows that he has achieved something that the Jewish the Chinese the Hispanics the Native Americans in fact every other ethnic group to be found it the Entire History of the United States has been UNABLE TO ACHIEVE! The media in the United States in particular only sees BLACK vs WHITE Indians, Oriental etc. don’t even count so the emphasis on him being the first Black President undermines the observation that not only have they not had a president of a different race. They haven’t even had a President whose fore fathers originated in Continental Europe either! By extension it suggests that Black people in America have underachieved in their race to the White house (which is far from the truth) because they have only managed to produce one. Well with all the Hispanics in the country I would have thought that they should have managed to product at least a couple by now…

    We are CONDITIONED by what we are exposed to in literate, the media, Language etc. To deny this is foolish. Some people are conditioned to believe that they are superior to others and others are conditioned to believe that they are inferior and thus we maintain the status quo. Unless our minds are open to how this conditioning takes place so that we can guide our children to be the self confident and self respecting people we so clearly are not Black people will continue to struggle in spite of our many great achievements to convince others of or true worth.

  • Sophie, you have given us a mouthfull to chew on, swallow and regurgitate. It has often been said that in order to keep black people in ignorance, provide them with literature. News, magazines, books, movies, newspapers, editorials, opinions, blogs, TV, facebook, twitter, historical events and many more mediums and sources which are used to promote self imagery and they will NEVER get it. In Trinidad and Tobago TODAY you will find all kinds of Indian organizations GOPIO, Maha Saba, NCIC etc, Chinese Association, Portuguese Association, Latin Organizations, European Organizations and there is as yet to be one credible Black organization that focus on black culture, education and development. This after more than four hundred years of existence in this country, Sophie was on the money when she said “Unless our minds are open to how this conditioning takes place so that we can guide our children to be the self confident and self respecting people we so clearly are not Black people will continue to struggle in spite of our many great achievements to convince others of or true worth.’ While individually we have achieved and continue to achieve, collectively we need to grow and feel more comfortable with multiplicity and diversification. It is not that we do not have it in us because time and again individuals of colour have demonstrated their skills and intelligence in every field of endeavour. The one field that we a thoroughly lacking or very weak in the is the one which takes collective thoughts and achievements to arrive at conscentious building. In Trinidad and Tobago we have had past Black Presidents, past Black Prime Ministers, past Black Chief Justices, past Black Attorney Generals, past great Black Surgeons, past great Black orators, past great Trade Union leaders and yet! when you look at the reality of Black life in Trinidad and Tobago one would think that we have been relagated to the dregs of society. We certainly are no longer the ‘cream’. We do not command anything.
    There is much to ponder on in Sophie’s contribution which affects all aspects of our development. One would think that with the contributions that black society have brought to the society at large there is nothing in it today that we can rightly claim with a written history on our side. We are on the verge of loosing Calypso as an art form, Carnival (or the management of it) has been lost, cultural foods and norms have been lost, we have no literature or archive to store our achievements or machinations to keep what we have now in place. It is indeed interesting times in which we live and since we are more in formed than our forefathers we should NOT wait on another generation to start the etymology of our arts, culture and beliefs system, the time is NOW!

  • “Black people will continue to struggle in spite of our many great achievements to convince others of or true worth”

    Kian if a person knows their true worth, they would have no need to prove it to anyone, it would be reflected by their actions.

    • You have either not read the original quote in its entirety or you have miss understood it.

      • Hey Sophie didn’t your finals Professor tell you that a two or three paragraph commentary is the best we already mentally fatigued ,information highway,cyber cruisers ,can tolerate on any given sitting?
        Some of us do have active lives to live, so anything that comes close to this regurgitation of a 300,000 words thesis ,is unpalatable my friend. In addition, about 1 million more important issues took place in our country, and across the globe ,sine the Doc fed us this theory.
        Stand up for socio economic/com political justice,at home and internationally ,yes?

  • Calm down everyone, this Black is a good thing. If people go out and shop, then it’s good for the economy.

  • Sophie’s explanation clearly went over the head of many.”Black” has always been used in a pejorative context. “Black Friday”, contrary to it’s economic descriptive positive, is not used in that context today. It is used in a negative context. “Black Friday” is mostly used to describe negative events that occur on Friday, regardless of its original connotations. To explain that away with the explanation that its origin was positive is ridiculous.

    The word Coon also have a positive originality. It was short for raccoon. However, its pejorative use was also a racist slur against people of African descent. Should we argue that because of its original use or description it is okay to use it to describe people.

    “Coolie” is a word used to describe porters who carry loads on their heads. Most of the people who were engaged in this process were Asians. Today many use it pejoratively to refer to Indians.

    In communication they tell you that words do not have meaning people do. That is to say, the meaning of words depend on its usage, who uses it and the their intended meaning. Given the increasing propensity of many in this Caribbean region to adopt the language, descriptions and attitudes of the slave master in their analysis and description of People of African descent I can grasp where the Doctor is coming from.

    Where I will disagree with him is in the position that something should be done to stop people from using the description. Free speech is free speech, not more, no less. We cannot roll back the tide of racial and ethnic animus by concentrating on the pejoratives and slurs that are symptomatic of that cognitive disease. We have a lot more important areas to concentrate on than idiots who get off by masturbating on terms such these.

  • Just don’t like to be misquoted is all… I have nothing more to say on this subject. As a busy working biologist and mother. I feel it is important that cyber cruisers actually learn something if they are so inclined. By the way busy bee why are you even reading this? Lol!

Comments are currently closed.