On Afro-Saxons and Trinbagonianism

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 12, 2011

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI regret I was not in Trinidad to share in the national grief when Sir Ellis Clarke died. My visit to Ghana over the past two weeks prevented me from attending his funeral. Michael Harris described Sir Ellis and those of similar ilk as Afro-Saxons. I disagree with such a characterization since it neither captures the essence of those gallant men and their contribution to our society nor does it tell us much about their location within the national landscape. Even in our grief we should resist a tendency to mischaracterize our patriots and set up false notions of who they were or what they ought to be.

It was the late nineteen sixties. I was a faculty member of Fordham University in New York. I invited Dr. Eric Williams to deliver a lecture at our university. After expressing his regret at not being able to attend (I remember his using the phrase “Whilst I am unable to attend…”) he suggested that I invite Sir Ellis to replace him. Sir Ellis graciously accepted our invitation and delivered a masterful, though low-keyed, lecture to our faculty and students.

This was the first time I met Sir Ellis. He was about 53 years old; I was in my late twenties. He was our Permanent Representation to the United Nations; I was a young instructor at Fordham University in the Black Studies Department. He had distinguished himself as a legal scholar and capable diplomat; I was striving to be an academic worthy citizen. He was a colleague of Dr. Williams while I, a young man, sat at Dr. Williams’s feet at the University of Woodford Square and the College of Auzonville Park in Tunapuana learning what it meant to be an educated person.

It was in these forums I first learned the names of the Greek philosophers and a place called Athens. It was the fifties and my world was constrained by the narrowness of my village (Tacarigua) and a curriculum that glorified “Dan Is the Man in de Van” and the singing of racist songs such as “Way Down Upon the Swanee River” that were offensive to African Americans. I studied under a kerosene lamp, upon the shade of which was inscribed “Home Sweet Home,” as its tiny glow pierced the darkness that was broken only by the night sounds of the bats, the owls and some stray dogs. My home did not receive electricity until I was about 12 years old.

It was that mental and physical darkness that Williams, James and Learie Nicholas Constantine (to name a few) sought to illuminate. It was not that we did not possess our own indigenous knowledge of our surrounding (my mother knew the uses of aloes and fever grass) or were undergirded by our culture of shango and protected by our orishas. It was only that our formal education was geared to keep us subservient rather than to liberate our mental capacities.

Over the years I conversed with Sir Ellis many times. He offered his insights into life and death and shared his thoughts of Panday’s government. I distinctly remember his having told me that he was related to Emmanuel Mzumbo Lazare (1864-1929), an outstanding African solicitor/lawyer and freedom fighter, who represented a bridge or transition from the slave to the colonial era. Lazare deliberately took an African name, “Mzumbo,” to show his pride in his African roots.

Apart from making lots of money, Mzumbo devoted a considerable amount of his time to serving his country and his people. Bridget Brereton, one of our distinguished historians, observed that Mzumbo “always encouraged racial pride among his people. He became involved in local politics and played a leading role in the campaign against Crown Colony Government which led to the Water Riots in Port of Spain in 1903.”

This was the atmosphere in which Sir Ellis (1917-2010) was born. He fashioned himself after Mzumbo and drew much inspiration from him. Necessarily, those proto nationalists who were offended by British colonialism drew upon their native culture and sought to understand the modes and methods of their oppressor to attack the evil of colonialism. This is one reason why Williams wrote Capitalism and Slavery and James wrote Black Jacobins and Oliver Cromwell Cox wrote Caste, Class and Race. It is almost as though these early nationalists were forging the tools of liberation to make their assault against the bastion of colonialism.

As a national/political entity Trinidad and Tobago was just in its formative process. If the nineteenth century reflected a society having to accommodate various nationalities and people of different religious persuasion who come to its shores, the twentieth century consisted in our society having to consolidate its nationness (Trinidad and Tobago only became a political entity in 1889) and a gradual working through of its national identity, a process that is still in formation. This is the ontological vise in which these emergent nationalists (and I am using the term loosely) found themselves at the beginning of the twentieth century.

These are the challenges that faced these first Trinbagonians as they face the might and authority of the colonial powers. They had to form a people and make a nation.

It is against this background that I would like to examine Harris’s contention-meant to be complimentary– that Sir Ellis was the last of the great Afro-Saxons of the twentieth century. He argues that although they were “eminently capable as Afro-Saxons…in leading us to self-government and political independence, they proved to be equally incapable of providing the kind of leadership required under conditions of independence” (“Last of the Great Anglo-Saxons,” Express, January 9).

I am not too sure about what Harris wished to convey in his last observation but one only has to look at countries such as Ghana and the catastrophe that is taking place in the Cote d’Ivorie, its neighbor, to understand the important job these stalwart Trinbagonians did in laying the foundation for modern Trinidad; keeping the society together; generating economic prosperity; and crafting a political stability they have bequeathed us, as a nation.

Harris contends that these Afro-Saxons had so successfully imbibed a notion of “schooled to rule” from the British public school that it “dictated a style of politics and governance in which the people could not be trusted to be masters of their own destinies.” Although Harris may be on to something here, he must tell us how this notion manifests itself in the general populace; what evidence he has to demonstrate his thesis; and what would have been the outcomes if these leaders trusted their people. In the process, he may even be able to demonstrate one example where this noble condition obtained.

Most of these Afro-Saxon leaders (political, economic, legal, or otherwise) in Trinidad and other colonial territories came onto the national stage when their countries were led by the British. Initially, they opted to persuade the colonial powers that self-government was the only way their people could go forward. In 1930 James wrote “The Case for West Indian Self-Government” although it was published a few years later. In January 1930 Jomo Kenyatta, the leader of the Kikuyu Central Association of Kenya, traveled to the Colonial Office in Britain to present his case for Kenyan self-government.

Although there was much agitation in all of the colonial counties to obtain self-governance, most of these societies (and we are talking of the British territories) needed leaders who understood the political culture of the “mother” country to strengthen their demands for self-government and eventually independence. Kwame Nkrumah (1909-1971), the great champion of Ghana’s independence studied in the United States and did preparatory work in London before he returned to Ghana to lead his country into independence. Kenyatta studied anthropology in Britain, wrote Facing Mount Kenya, a study on the Kikuyu, before he returned to Kenya to lead his people to independence. Nnamdi Azikiwi (1904-1996) attended Howard University, Lincoln University and the University of Pennsylvania where he received a Master’s degree before he returned to Nigeria to lead his people to independence.

All these leaders studied outside their countries before they returned home to serve their country. I wonder if Harris is willing to call Nkrumah, Kenyatta and Azikiwi Afro- or African-Saxons because they studied abroad and, in the process, acquired accoutrements and even taste of those foreign countries? Are they less African because they sought higher education abroad which, in many instances, their home countries could not provide?

Although Harris has sought to temper his characterization of Sir Ellis and others by suggesting that the term “Afro-Saxon” is not meant to be derogatory no one familiar its connotation is inclined to see it as being complimentary. Even if it were complementary it does not capture the essence of these men or any other significant attributes of their personality and national identify. It cannot be interpreted as anything but derogatory.

An Anglo-Saxon is a member of one of the Germanic peoples (one does not say tribe) who settled in Britain in the fifth and sixth centuries. It is used to describe some one whose language and culture typify the Angles and the Saxons, the two major groups that make up the Anglo-Saxons. The variation of the term, Afro-Saxon, which Lloyd Best used to describe Sir Ellis and others, does not and cannot capture Sir Ellis’s national identity, his intellectual formation and academic achievements because it seeks to emphasize-or to give equal weight to–his Africanness and what Best sees as his English accoutrements.

No one in his correct mind will characterize Williams, James or Sir Ellis as having more in common with the Anglo-Saxons than they do with Afro-Trinidadians. No one would say that Williams, James and Sir Ellis were more English than they were Trinidadians nor were there cultural accoutrements that made them more Saxon than African. Such a description neither speaks to their uniqueness nor their cosmopolitanism. No one dares say that their academic excellence makes them more English and less Trinbagonian. This would be an insult to common sense and our national psyche.

No one is born out of his time or his place; each of us being circumscribed by his place and his time. Trinbagonians who were born during the first quarter of the twentieth century can rightly be described as the first Trinbagonians who sought to “educate” themselves (not school themselves) as they strove to understand themselves, their society and the larger world in which they lived. They took different paths to those objectives and, in the process, emphasized different peculiarities none of which made them less Trinbagonian than Best or Harris. They were, in the best sense Trinidadians and Tobagonians.

The historical task of these first Trinbagonians was to build a nation; create a democracy and lay the foundation for modern prosperous nation. They did that with élan and style so that in the twenty first century a Hindu-Trinbagonians could come to power with the support of Afro-Trinbagonians and claim leadership of the society without there being any rapture in our political or ethnic fabric. In our land today, the seeds of our fathers are being manifested in the works of their children.

Ghanaians have a proverb that says: If you have not been out of your home you cannot say that your mother’s soup is best which suggests that before you speak about the tastiness of your mother’s soup or your uniqueness you should experience other people’s soup or their culture. Ghanaians have another proverb that says that one must come out of one’s house before one can learn about others. Mzumbo, James, Williams or Sir Ellis could have realized their fullest potential if they had been educated only at home.

I do not know what Harris expects that post-independence leaders should have done to acquit themselves as he suggests. Perhaps he has a model in mind or knows a priori how leaders ought to act to create the ideal post colonial states. He suggests that now that era of the great Afro-Saxons have ended that we must now look for an appropriate model to achieve the “perfect” state and to discover what it means to be fit to rule under the conditions of independence.

Trinidadian and Tobagonians have been doing a good job in the fifty years since independence. It goes without saying that the character of the state will change as the majority population takes its rightful place in ruling the society. This is prophecy not description. But to suggest that these noble patriots missed the boat because they studied abroad is a position that I am not ready to support.

Sir Ellis was as African as Mzumbo. Like Mzumbo, he was and Trini’ to de bone. Let us not mar that achievement with any hyphenation that takes anything away from this exemplary Trinidadian. And let us also give thanks for a life well lived.

36 Responses to “On Afro-Saxons and Trinbagonianism”


  • It would be unkind to say that I disagree with this wonderful historical account that that Dr. Cudjoe has so willingly given us (freely). What I take issue with is his message that Sir Ellis Clarke was NOT an Afro-Saxon. Many of us common folks accept the term “Afro Saxon” not in the historical context that Dr. Cudjoe has so vividly expressed but as a description of an Afro-Trinidadian educated in the traditions of their colonial masters and by extension imitate them in their dealings with fellow Trinbagonians, expecting to be treated and respected in the same manner which the colonial masters demanded of us. Dr. Cudjoe captured this sense when he wrote “It was only that our formal education was geared to keep us subservient rather than to liberate our mental capacities.”
    Michael Harris was absulutely correct in his in categorising Sir Ellis in this class of learned (and privileged) Afro-Trinbagonian. It is ntrue that Williams, Sir Learie, James, Sir Ellis and others liberated us to believe that we can stand on our own but that is exactly where their leadership ended. They led us to believe that we can have the same education and achievements as ou colonializers but failed to tell us how we moved forward to elevate our physical, psychological and mental capabilities to get away from the slave mentality. Whilst these men have done great things for the advancement of nationhood their failings to capture and incite progression in our thinking is what Afro-Saxon is all about. I will add that Manning is and continues nto be an AFRO SAXON, why you ask? Look at his behaviour before the last election, when he thought his integrity was on the line whom did he go to to iterate his qualifications to continue as PM? He went to our local SAXONS to receive their blessings and to let them know that he did not forget them. They of course had turn to the opposition by then. He NEVER thought of going to the people of Laventille to tell them how much he can do for them because in his mind that nwas NOT worthy enough. This is in keeping with the Afro Saxon mentality.

  • Sir Ellis was ideologically and intellectually Afro-Saxon. This should not surprise anyone because he had his formal education in England and occupied positions during and after the colonial era. His ability to communicate with a soft stick and yet to the point was one of his most fascinating quality. It is unfortunate that Doc Cudjoe did not learn anything from Sir Ellis despite his great admiration for him. Perhaps the greatest lesson anyone could learn from Sir Ellis was how to conduct oneself in a dignified manner. Which is a long forgot “art form”, rather today it is the belligerant and threatening style that seems to command attention, or so we may believe. Nevertheless, Sir Ellis was an academic “par excellance” a man whose shoe no one will be able to fill, not now or the future. A true “Grand father” of the Republic. His greatest work being the Constitution.

  • “look at countries such as Ghana and the catastrophe that is taking place in the Cote d’Ivorie, its neighbor, to understand the important job these stalwart Trinbagonians did in laying the foundation for modern Trinidad; keeping the society together; generating economic prosperity; and crafting a political stability they have bequeathed us, as a nation.”
    Excellent analysis as usual Uncle Cudjoe. Thanks for reminding us – myself included – that even if our nationalist leaders , might not be perfect , they should be commended for being able to keep our societies together, and protect our fragile democracy, through prudent stewardship , even under the most difficult circumstances , the most prominent of which remains ethnic, and racial aggressions ,by raving non patriots ,more concerned with throwing the baby out with the water , than fostering peaceful coexistence. We thank you.
    Khem said , ‘A true “Grand father” of the Republic. His greatest work being the Constitution?” Lord I tell you , but there you go again cousin khem, still cannot help but try in your not too subtle manner -as only you could- to take a stab at the late Sir Ellis. Yes , his greatest contribution was only to write a constitution, dat de Queen K , in all her majesty now have to tweak so dat it can reflect Indians , since they were ignored for the last 48 years of African leadership , yes?
    With compliments like yours ,one would not know if to smile in gratitude like a grateful Indo-Saxon ,about to kiss the feet of Queen Liz, as he accepts his much sort knighthood, for being a good ‘mimic man,’ or jump off the Caroni Bridge , and or East Dry River, during a rainy day in December.
    Love country my friend.

    • “look at countries such as Ghana and the catastrophe that is taking place in the Cote d’Ivorie, its neighbor, to understand the important job these stalwart Trinbagonians did in laying the foundation for modern Trinidad”

      The African continent is in a war within itself. From Sudan’s 50 year war which resulted in over 2 million dead, to the Congo where currently 20,000 plus rapes are committed each year. The Rwandan, Uganda conflicts have seen over 2 million people killed or displaced by their own governments in recent history. Zimbabwe is now starving. Don’t talk about what AIDS have done to the dark continent.

      This is the unsavary effects of tribalism. Unless the modern African learns that nothing in this world belongs to him but we are just stewards of the divinely created order he will continue to fight for his own demise. In other words chasing an illusion. The only way forward is to respect others, learn to share and build a culture of trust instead of the culture of tribalism as the doc and Nealos seems to willingly embrace.

      Sir Ellis was indeed an enlightened soul as was evident at his funeral where God and country came first in his life. Notice not God and tribe. After all country will remain here but then you have to deal with your maker. Idle words will come into divine judgement. There is no future for these ethnocentric ideologies. Hitler loss, the British loss, Amin loss, South African whites loss, Burnham black centrist ideas loss, American whites loss. Despite an exclusionary philosophy espoused by the Port of Spain club they loss as well.
      Even the doc recognises Nealos the rise of the oppressed in his book “Indian time ah come”. In the words of a white fella “be careful, those you oppress will one day be your boss”… It is indeed a humbling thought.

      • Hey khem , if dat joker John Agitation was still alive , den he won’t have anything on you my pro tribalistic friend. However your twisted logic is filled with holes, for a people cannot be allegedly oppressed for 47 years, then suddenly one day wake up and proclaim victory in a free and fair election involving an Alliance party,then claim to be welcomed , loved , and free in the space of 7 months.
        “Sir Ellis was indeed an enlightened soul as was evident at his funeral where God and country came first?” Oh yes cousin khem , but if a god truly existed , then he would open a hole in the ground and swallow you up forthwith, just for this and other disingenuousness complimentary utterances. Was it not you comedians ,who always accused Sir Ellis of being pro African, PNM lackey / stooge, for wisely handing over power to less experienced Chambers ,and not Errol , and Kamal, when the Doc departed in 81?
        Can you imagine what this country would look like today, if any of those two characters had full reign on power in this country ? Glad you loved Sir Ellis, just like you pretend to tolerate Uncle Jack Warner for the moment. As an old security guru my self, I would tell him however to continue to sleep with one eye open, watch where/ what he eats, and which roads he enjoy crossing.
        What is even more sad is that you do not even have the ability to recognize that your fake compliments to Sir Ellis , rings shallow , for you are repeatedly denouncing our entire 48 years democratic liberal experiments , and the man who help ensure that it was a reality due to his relentless patriotism, and actions towards nation building – something most of you would never recognize even if your life was dependent on it. You name a more racially tolerant ,and inclusive country on the planet over the past 50 years , or better yet within any of the Commonwealth countries, and I would personally get you a date with Princess Margaret , if that rocks your boat.

        • Nealos said “for wisely handing over power to less experienced Chambers ,and not Errol , and Kamal, when the Doc departed in 81?”

          Sir Ellis did the right thing back then. I know it may surprise you to hear me say that. The African community was not ready for Kamal or Errol. Why? The cult of PNM could not even concieve such a thing and they would have caused wide spread unrest back then.

          The lessons of Chambers, Manning and Robbie prepared them for Panday, a man who built 32 schools, a spanking new airport, a few stadiums and pave roads all over the place. This when oil prices was a mere $19 U.S. a barrel. Additionally he started the heritage fund and in true Trinindian style demonstrated a higher level of intellegence. But his downfall really was those who surrounded him and his own arrogant style of leadership. He had too much of an autocratic style.

          Having said all of that I think Ellis must have regretted his decision to appoint Chambers but the PNM hierachy was insipidly racist and in that vein it was a good decision.

          • Glad I was able to extract such honesty out of you my friend, however in light of the utter nonsense you’ve just uttered including such over the top praises for corrupt crooks such Kamal,and Errol , or the criminal Basdeo , I am going to call Dr Olauda Equano ,my Nigerian friend in charge of the St Anns mental hospital , to book a room for you, so as to pick your brains.
            What’s dat, “The cult of PNM could not even concieve such a thing and they would have caused wide spread unrest back then?”
            Utter rubbish , back then ,and presently khem.
            Tell you what, it is only when your closet racist chiefly Hindustani leaders ,led by the divisive, nepotistic , pro cronyism Bengal Tiger himself Basdeo, can bury their over inflated egos,in recognition thatT&T is a multiracial society, and that all political , economic ,and overall social success , can only accrue to both them, and the nation at large, when they quit their insularity penchant , and embrace de other, yes?
            By the way ,can I also convince you in all your 6 decades plus years on this earth , that babies are created from airplanes flying above, and not via sexual engagements between two heterosexual human beings , as your logic is tantamount to that of a naive five year old from Chickland?

          • Nealos said “or the criminal Basdeo”

            Bas was criminalized by the PNM. He stole no money as far as I know. He had a joint account with his wife in England but there is no proof that he recieved a cheque to put in that account. His friend Duprey gave his wife a few dollars and the PNM police made a lot of noise about it. His crime not declaring it. It was not right but the money was not stolen Nealos, it was a gift by T&T billionare Duprey.

  • Dr. Cudjoe believes that the term Afro-Saxon has negative connotations hence his piece. He should get out from his downtrodden state. The only time a business is successful is if it is in the BLACK.

  • “It goes without saying that the character of the state will change as the majority population takes its rightful place in ruling the society. This is prophecy not description”

    I wish the Doc would explain what he means by this statement above.

  • Come on T-Man , as we like to say ‘you big and you have sense,’and therefore knows quite well what the good Doc is attempting to say, in plain language my friend.
    Hey I know you are still suffering the ill effect of de Los Bajos primary school new maths education ,which states that 1 plus 1 equals eleven. Please don’t tell me that you, and similarly delusional others, were beginning to believe that erroneous claptrap ,about Indo Trini majority ,simply because of recent May 24th electoral victories , in broad base ,interracially, supported voting.
    In similar fashion to big brother America , the fastest rising demographics in T&T,is that post racial, 25 % or more of our Dougla population, and they cannot be reached by simplistic, rhetorical emotionalism, and childish jingoistic ,ancient ancestral lands, misleading neo tribal mantra.
    They are looking for results, after placing their fingers in the breeze to see which ways the breeze are blowing. Get to work , if you still wish to be rewarded again in 2014 or beyond, as many are presently “mad as hell, and won’t take it any more.” As closet PP Spokesman,what say ye to a more progressive , and inclusive agenda, hummm?

  • One of the characteristics least understood by those who see the world only through “African eyes” is the recognition of the mixed heritage of Sir. Ellis and other “Afro-Saxons”. Many of those so labeled, quietly recognized, accepted and were proud of their racial mixtures. They saw themselves apart from and somewhat different from what was considered the pure African. Their choice of similar, light-skinned mates reflected this difference and succeeding generations perpetuated this phenomenon. They decided who they were and what they ought to be, and they had every right to fully recognize every part of their racial heritage. These men were not obsessed with their African-ness, but were cognizant of their “uniqueness and their cosmopolitanism”.
    Who are we to judge them?

  • Someone once said , I think it was Abraham Lincon ” I do not care what my grandfather was , I am only concern about what his grandson is going to be-“or words to that effect.
    Speak for yourself T-Man, as you and your kind might be overjoyed at the fact a few European barbarians ,might have crossed over the Caucus Mountains , and repeatedly raped your women,but not so ,de “conscious few,” of the Mandingo, Fulini , Bantu , Massai Africando nation.
    Please note my emphasis .
    If a few delusional self haters ,within the land of the Hummingbird choose however ,to go that route ,it’s their loss, and Europe’s gain.
    What I wish to hear from you is similar passion for the mix and match, between loving Indians ,and their more savage Africans brothers ,and sisters.
    Oh I forgot , dat 25% which ensured political changes last May 24th 2010, though grateful for it, you as one of the main boardmembers of the Dr G created , ‘Trini Anti genocidal Brigade,’ still condem such offsprings , since in your collective twisted souls , the view remains like Guyanese cousins, that 99% or more were produced via rapes , yes?
    One day when you have time I’ll explain a bit about the part of the Trini enclave where I emerged from , and show why we do not suffer similar fate as you’ve alluded maybe correctly- but who cares- at the good Sir Ellis.

  • afro Saxon to me is mastering the colonial master’s ideology to create a better Trinbago;(to know is not to replace but to improve).Afro Saxon in this context means to me learning something to make your self better. Like it or not, any one who would call them selves educated today in the Caribbean and still uses the Westminster system of governance and the privy council as the final court for justice is more Afro Saxon than would like to admit.The road to becoming less Afro and Indo Saxon may be best realized with the introduction of the Caribbean court of justice as our final court of appeal.

  • “Like it or not, any one who would call them selves educated today in the Caribbean and still uses the Westminster system of governance and the privy council as the final court for justice is more Afro Saxon than would like to admit.”
    Well said brother johnx, as you have just proved via this astute commentary, there is more than one way to decipher the phonies, from the authentic patriotic Trinis.Just 10 seconds of driving on dis here information highway, and even the blind can see who is more enarmored with everything Massa England possess, and who stands in the way of independent nationalism ,and socio – economic com political, progress.
    Keep dem honest johnx!

  • Good piece by Dr. Cudjoe.

    I have to agree that the term Afro-Saxon is and can only be a put-down, for it is describing an Afro, being or seeking to be that which he manifestly is not and cannot be, i.e. Saxon.

    How could that ever be complimentary?

    Moreover what rides on its back is a criticism, which of course the opponents of the PNM latch on to with derogatory talk of the allegedly defective “mentality” of even the best and most exemplary of the Afro-creole.

    Dr. Cudjoe is right that the implied criticism does not quite hit the nail on the head, for it is suggesting that the Trinbagonian Afro-Creole of Sir Ellis’s era, and perhaps still today, is more British than the British. That misses the mark by a mile. The Afro-creole elites may be criticized for many things, but in the land of calypso, there are not too many for whom Anglo-phile would be an apt description, not even Sir Ellis. Certainly it wasn’t true of Eric Williams, nor CLR James, nor Lloyd Best who is at least a prima facie candidate for Afro-Saxon-hood, nor even Sir Learie “in my day” Constantine.

    The Saxon-hood description would better apply to Sir Vidia, and even he, anglo-phile that he freely confesses to being, certainly has a picong-esque quality to his prose that betrays an early diet of calypso and chutney moreso than cucumber sandwich and strawberries with cream.

    Be that as it may, we should indeed give credit to the Anglo-Saxon elites for having perfected the art of decorous arrogance. There is much to commend the rules of parliamentary behavior, and courtly behavior in the conduct of government and business affairs. We suffer as a society when decorum is deemed a false virtue.

    Every society learns to value good manners. The outward form may vary from society to society, but we all may recognize the courtly manner when we see it. There is a Spanish version, a French version, a Chinese version, a Russian version, an Akan version, a Persian version, an Indian version, a Zulu version, an American version and so on. Every old society has one, and every society has an adjustment problem when those who are not to the manner born, evict erstwhile elites and brashly assert new norms.

    Here in Trinbago, the Afro elites of Government naturally assumed the outward forms of Westminster. However, the inner core has never been British in any useful sense. A good analogy might be cricket. Cricket is an English game, and many of its virtues are Anglo-Saxon virtues, as CLR James has forcefully argued, but cricket as played by West Indians (Afro and Indo) bears a distinctly West Indian stamp, which at its best is an entirely West Indian expression. Would it seriously be suggested that Brian Lara is less Trinbagonian because he excels at an English sport?

    So I agree with Dr. Cudjoe. The term Afro-Saxon is an exquisite put-down, but as sociological characterization it misses the mark. The limitation (of mentality) it suggests is not real. Our failings as a people go to the core of who we are, rather than to surface behaviors deriving from our colonial experience and to the adoption of associated behavioral norms. Certainly it would be incorrect to suggest that to be true Trinbagonian we must be uncouth or unparliamentary in the conduct of our public affairs. It would also be incorrect to suggest that there is some essentialist defect in the Afro-Creole, allegedly deriving from an Afro-Saxon mentality, that prevents him from coming to grips with what Lloyd Best or anyone else deems to be the way we should go as a society.

    No. As a society we should be thankful that we had such Afro-creole luminaries as Sir Ellis and Dr. Williams to guide us, and to maintain some order and decorum in public life as they did so.

    We have wisely continued Anglo-Saxon (Westminster) norms for the conduct of our public affairs, but the Afro-Saxon is a creature that does not exist in any essentialist sense, rather only as picong.

  • Those of us who came of age in the era of Independence, and who know that our country was not liberated by blood, although some of our African and Indian cousins were, knew it was wrong to throw out the baby with the bathwater. I attended a poor country school in Cumuto- Cumuto R.C School, where our school library had a set of the Greek classics, for children. By age eleven, I had read everything that library had in it, as well as others that the mobile library brought every two weeks. I knew the Greek Classics, in children’s form, and was fascinated enough to read further. It was our family members however, who initiated us into the world of appropriate social behaviour. I had a great Aunt, Nen Lilian, bless her, who took us from the country in the August holidays, and we learned the intricacies of Knives and Forks, vs spoons. Up to now, I am sensitive to people who at any table, may not be totally comfortable with all that hardware. I have not mastered chopsticks, either. I work on a board that sponsors foreign scholars to study in the USA. People from Thailand, The Maldives, Malawi and Uganda come here, and it is the kindness of the folks who can negotiate these bits of metalware at table that helps them prepare further for leadership roles in their home governments. At Teachers’Colleges,in TnT in my time, there were Formal Dinners that taught the same lessons.(The Brits are hung up on not licking your knife at table, or at ANY time, but they would be gracious enough to not see this officially.)
    People of Sir Ellis’s age, and social class understood that to stand as an equal,one needs to master the techniques that the opponent uses. This means the colonial learnt two sets of behaviours, one for home and one for them. This strengthened the Kenyattas, Nkrumah’s and Azikwe’s as well as our own greats. An awful amount of politicking takes place at dinner.
    In the mid-sixties, while I was at UWI, some of the scholars in the school of economics(names like Richardson, Henry and Crosby among others) considered this knowledge of how the Brits operate to be “Bouge” . A few weeks before graduation, I saw these same rebels dressed in suits. I asked about it, since some of them considered me a sell out for being chosen to be trainbearer to the Coutess of Athlone, during the laying of the foundation stone of the College of Arts and Sciences(I have pictres to back this up). Well job interviewers were on campus, and these young men had abandoned the academic robe they slept in and turned up in class wearing with wrinkles; for business suits, since they knew that college graduates were expected to assume leadership roles in companies. They had to play the part the university had prepared them for.
    The class of sixty-seven founded at least some members did, the Unit Trust Corporation- TnT’s proudest gem. If that is being an Afro-Saxon, then so be it. We are a small country, and the reason we invited so many commonwealth countries to our independence celebrations, is due to the edcated realization that we cannot go it alone. Symbolic gestures matter. Mastering their world through education, allows our leaders to function in our dual role. Some years ago, people in opposition were fussing about some repairs to the High Commissioner’s Residence in London. I pointed out then, and I stand by it, that the Ambassador To the Court of St. James cannot bathe at a stand pipe in London, nor serve Mauby and Sorrel at dinner, unless she was doing an exotic foods evening. She needs the three wine glasses, she needs the formal china, even though,like the Grand Piano in the Diplomatic Center, she does not use it every day.
    Basdeo Panday, in his run up to the election he lost to Manning some three years back spoke of fig leaf Indian vs Knife and Fork Indian. Our people need to master both. If you go to an Indian wedding, and they are serving food on fig leaves, you should be able to eat without curry getting all down your clothes. You should also be able to eat a formal meal without worrying about whether you had the right knife. Our schools used to teach this stuff to women, in the computer age, we forget.
    In our country’s progress forward, we do not need to go back to anything, life “does not go backward, nor tarry with yesterday”, but we do need to keep civility, good manners, proper toilet training and proper dinner ettiquette as part of our behaviours.
    The most courteous people I have met so far, are not the Brits, but the upper-class Malawians. This is what they do: you enter a room,as an invited guest, you shake hands and say good morning or good afternoon, then the person who took you to see that other person, gives a long introduction citing your many virtues and how you are connected with them, then the host shakes your habnd again. They hug when you leave because they accept you as family now. Education.

  • “Well said …?” Cousin khem , ah don’t think you reading skills too efficient. Hey ,not only did Madame L , was an outstanding UWI Alum ,consumed Greek from a tiny , bitty ,young lady in Cumuto , but rest assured ,she did hear about Chaucer ‘s Canterbury Tales , re Chanticleer , aka the ‘Cock and the Fox.’ Your flatteries won’t work on her, my friend. You see , all of you naive noble culture jokers, think that Hausa , Masai , and Fulani decedents ,did not have good teachings , but guess what, she had her great Aunt, Nen Lilian,to warn her about wolves in sheep clothing ,that lurks in the cane fields , and neighborhood pastures, that looks, and behaves just like grandpa Khem , with slick talk ,and lust in their eyes, while securing their own henhouse from the Afro savages.
    As for yours truly, well , what can I say , de wisest woman dat ever lived, in my loving Granny, informed me from an early stage, dat “all skin teeth ain’t laugh,” hmmm?

  • Neal,putting your foot in your mouth is NOT a good idea. Ramlogan doing enough of that. I represent the third generation of women in my family who were educators. My Nen Lillian was a blonde haired brown eyed Great Aunt who was a teacher. Her husband was a school principal. If there was an Afro Trini bone in her, it never showed. My father was the African. You guys turn everything into race talk. Those first UWI classes had all sorts of Trinis and people from the other islands, and England studying together. A different time.

    • Yeah we knew she was blond hair, and don’t forget your Indo Trini great uncle from Fizabad as well,Madam L-hence the reason why you have such utter contempt for Bas and Sat,as you too have suffered the scars of their non acceptance venom.
      So in essence you have no business engaging in our Afro Saxon debate , yes? Therefore we the good folks from Mandingo nation ,should really be most grateful for your ‘lil bit oh empathy,for the lower cast peons and field hands, hummm?
      Lord you see why I say how dem Trini folks confuse, particularly de members of our growing 25%, ‘fingers in the air, to test the where the wind is blowing , before deciding where to turn generation?’ No wonder Dr Deffy , your much adored Anglophone leader , was so conflicted.
      Perhaps my wise Granny was correct , “banana , just can’t bear plantain.” Now who is going to look out for the intrest of authentic Africans , who where used and abused by the enemies of the people – especially in places such as Haiti, Latin America , the English speaking Caribbean, and in case we forgot, Uncle Obamas similarly confused cousins ,in big brother United States of ‘Norte Americana’- which includes the half caste offsprings of Massa Europe?
      Madame L said,”You guys turn everything into race talk.” For your information , Madam L, ‘race is everything.’ We know that the members of the petit bourgeois, would like to distract us , with class economic structured problems ,but we say to hell with that.
      Every war fought since WW2, invasion made outside of Europe, draconian economic policy pushed,British / Chinese opium wars,Immigration policy encouraged ,over the top conglomerate operation deal every made , from Bhopal India gas tragedy, to white global support of racist South Africa pro Apartheid exploits,and BP/ Shell environmental ecocide in Nigeria , and Amoco in Angola , as well as Ecuador was done under the umbrella of race, and collective European dominations of brown , black , yellow and red people.
      We the socially conscious will remain committed in our quest to eventually liberate oppressed folks , and acquire the compensation they deserve , irrespective of the selfish efforts of a few , who would always fail to understand the most important part of nation building lies in rectifying your past historical wrongs.Stay committed to the cause , and never allow a life of ease and comfort make you loose your part to achieving socio economic , com political justice, for all.
      I wish you well.

  • It is refreshing to see the various responses to the ideas that Dr. Cudjoe has advanced on the matter of Afro-Saxonism. Some responses seem to suggest that Afro Saxonism is a bad thing and there is nothing further from the truth. The miners who were trapped in the mines of Chile a few months ago had to adjust to survival methods in an atmosphere that limited their ability to do things in the wasy they would have liked to without any restrictions placed on their abilities but because of nthe nrestrictive nature of their physical conditions they had to devise new behaviours (including primitive ones) in order to survive ans sustain life. Whilst not in thesame manner, the people whgom we describe as Afro Saxons had the discomforts as being not acceptable by the ruling class and having to distinguish their abilities for learning from the masses who were considered inferior. It does not naturally mean that they did not feel natural affinities to their less fortunate brothers and sisters but they had to master the ways of their rulers in order to be given the opportunities to lead and teach. We cannot and should not fault them for this. They played the roiles nthey had to play in order to survive and thrive at a time when very few of us were given any opportunities at all. We can say without contradictions that they had public functions to uphold and they did it well. The problems that we experience today have everything to do with our lack of preparedness to lead and manage when we got our independence. We were generally ill-prepared to rise and develop to the occasion and here we are forty eight years later, all of us walking on shifing sand not knowing where we are going. The Afro Saxons offered us a sense of stability even though not facing up to the physical and mental backwardness we are in. It appears that Independence gave us only “independence”. Sat Maharaj utterings ably demonstrate that we are all independent to do whatever we want. Anand Ramlogan’s behaviour as a public official leaves no footprint that we can inscribe in our historical affirmations for the next generation of attorneys general to follow, so we will find ourselves fortyeight years from now on those same shifting sands of time not knowing better or being better than we are today.

  • When the PM shuffles her Cabinet, Anand Ramlogan should be shown the door.His public and Parliamentary utterances clearly show that he is not ready to hold public office, especially the office of AG.

  • No T-Man my politically naive friend , for dats not how politics works ,when you have ambitious members of competing fractions such as the COP , as part of your Alliance government.
    Unlike the old school Bengal Tiger , and similar political dinosaurs such as Basdeo ,Savvy leaders like Queen K , ably assisted by Uncle Jack ,won’t go that route. They’ll use this to their own advantage to show the country how democratic an organization the PP is in that it would allow divergent voices to have their say , thus keeping the hopes and aspiration of Uncle Dookie the sleepy and cagey Central Mappipi at bay.
    Hey T-Man buddy, give it a rest will you, and leave our tough talking , exciting AG, in cousin Rammy alone, and just enjoy your Sunday morning Trini Bake & Shark , laced with Canadian bacon , along with Maple syrup, on your blue berry pancakes/ Peta bread , ehh?
    Let me give you and your many other gleeful ‘UNC dis is our time’ fans , ‘a lil bit oh advice,’ my friend.The day Queen K takes God out he thoughts ,and dare to touch AG Rammy , in any shape or form , it would be the end of PP governmental rule as we know it since May 24th 2010, and a chance for the Mason Hall kid, Dr. Rottweiler Rowley, aka de PNM wajang, to do a handover from Ah wee Bouy Robbie, so as to finally become the next Gonian Island Ward PM ,in dis our integrated ,cosmopolitan country.
    It ain’t happening however, anytime soon ,since first ,Tobago Africans time can’t come just yet,and more importantly , we have too much oh dem rabid criminals living the good life on Death row , when our hang men ,are going hungry and homeless , due to lack of work, because successive regimes are refusing to enforce our laws.
    Well,at least you T- Man , have done your lil bit oh civic duty ,to help keep us distracted , in conversing about another non issue, as the country goes to the cleaners ,and we loose our social standing globally , as a politically stable ,Human Rights leader,with solid economically tempting potentials.
    To think dat these unmentionable jokers, want me to hate dis country, eh T-Man. Tell dem for me that the person so capable of so doing , ain’t born yet.Still curious though as to how much you et paid for these and similar exercises, but that’s a different subject for another St. James Smokey , or is it Bounty ,rum shop session, yes? You know my admonitions always, “Luv country ,over tribe , as the consequences for failing so to do, can be dire indeed,” T-Man.
    Your call.

  • There is a category of people called Trinbagonians. I belong there. I identify with my African roots by choice, but I love my mostly Indian cousins and nieces, because we are connected to one grandmother, who was mostly white. Regardless of hair or skin colour, the clan is one. You others could fight the race war daily. I will get into it when a knucklehead on either side needs to be corrected, based on FACTS that I know.
    It is a fact that African-descended peoples embrace all others, sexually, emotionally, culturally. Others have problems with that. Their problem.

  • Madame L said ,”It is a fact that African-descended peoples embrace all others, sexually, emotionally, culturally.”

    Now folks ,here is the principal reasons as to why 400 million Africans from the Virgin continent , were traded into slavery , and not Asians, Europeans , or any other people. Ever wanted to decipher why African folks whose ancestors slaved to develop this country ,and never obtained a penny in compensation, yet held power by a bunch of self serving confused , petty elites , are at the bottom of the socio economic ,and political barrel today ,even after 40 something years of alleged power ? Here is your answer my friends.
    Yes I know you are surprise as to why India , and China are emerging economic giants, Brazil and it’s confused Water down South European portuguese / African/ native indians ,pretends to be. Europe, along with Australia/ New Zealand , Russia, USA / Canada remains supreme , while Africans collectively , are busy murdering each other , or are almost all below poverty line levels, throughout the English speaking Caribbean ,where neo colonials Afro/ Anglos, are in charge, since most became allegedly independent ,when massa had no more uses for them. Don’t be surprise , for here is partly the reason friends folks.
    What is sad , and even heart rending, is that the typical pseudo intellectuals , would come on this board ,and denounce our fellow Indo Trini brothers and sisters nationals , as well as domestic Europeans , Arabs, and similar others ,for loving themselves first ,or pushing only their interest , at the expense of others.
    They would often pull out their Eurocentric King James Bible , and sing kumbaya , while their people waddle at the lower echelons of the economic quagmire. They would continually pat themselves on the back on hum globally sophisticated they are as they attempt to bring good will to the globe , while conveniently touting their ‘Africaness’-ugly dashiki gowns, and fake lingo and all – where expedient.
    Now you and I know why such characters would choose to deliberately misconstrue your truly words, and intentions ,yes?I am a useful punching bag , as many are to scared to attack the real source of their maladies- in grained self hatred.
    In addition , this does two things for their twisted egos ,when thousands of their member race are failing , and first it makes them feel good about themselves , because in comparison, they have some semblance of paltry success.
    In the mean time, watch them as they strive to be global saviors, as opposed to standing up to fight historical wrongs in tangible ways .
    I should not be surprise really that in 2011 , seemingly educated Africans, would idly boast about their fine race while simultaneously jumping with glee about percentages of their blood that were diluted by colonial rapist , and other folks who despise them at every angle.
    With respect to big brother America , we know your Uncle Obama likes his Kansas roots Madame L, but can you imaging him being President of the United States , if he had not conveniently embraced his Africanness via latching on to his Mandigo Queen from the Chicago South-side, or introduce himself to the world via a Bestselling book,with tributes to his useless Kenyan African father, and ancestral land, or holding on the pants leg of African Liberation Theology head guru Rev Wright?
    Do you believe if our similarly tainted brother in 3/5 Anglo African Dr Deffy , the egomaniac, had brought his loving European wife and kids to T&T , he would have been able to convince desperate Africans ,in this country back in 56 that he could be their political savior?
    And to think that you folks naively believe that we the socially progressives , really have a hatred for brother Bas , Sat , the Elias,Brother Rammy de AG / COP pitbull, Pantins, O’Hallorans and such simply because they place deep priorities to the tribe ? Far from it my fried ,we admire what they have done for their people , but equally feel revolted that sleeping comatose African middle class- not only here but globally -cannot get it right , or understand their true callings in life , is not only to gloat about paltry successes , or condescendingly pontificate daily about the ills of their people , while failing repeatedly , to raise up from their rear ends,in concerted efforts ,to elevate them in some meaningful way.
    Now I know that you ,and de great father of de nation hated him , and why, but one of T&T greatest minds in Brother Stokley Carmichael once said ,”Before a group can enter the open society, it must first close ranks.” In his first public lecture back home in Belmont after the ban was lifted once Dr. Deffy died , I remembered him saying to us ” organize ,” and “get ready for the revolution.”The revolution was not complete Madam L , because we burned down a few plantations en route to freedom. It did not occur , only because a few of de women in your family were able to read and write since they acquired an education , and not have to produce a baby each year and walk around the house bare feet. It takes much more you would agree.
    It means adherence to a distinctive common identity , and recognizing that in numerous places such as ours , race remains a fundamental issue, that impacts our economics , politics , psychological make up , and every sociological development / fall out .
    I wish you well in your dilemma.
    Now enjoy that Dumpling and Sunday Calaloo, or rather Pizza , and French fries.
    What a people indeed! There is obviously much work to be done folks, when these and similar people could be in positions of authority , and shaping policies that affects millions.

  • it is interesting that when an afro trinbagonian tries to defend the little africanism he can in reality muster he is characterized as playing the race game.Linda I understand the social and economical values of learning other cultural behavior, I will make this point, but in all due respect to Yoruba Israelite I quote;
    “Here in Trinbago, the Afro elites of Government naturally assumed the outward forms of Westminster. However, the inner core has never been British in any useful sense. A good analogy might be cricket. Cricket is an English game, and many of its virtues are Anglo-Saxon virtues, as CLR James has forcefully argued, but cricket as played by West Indians (Afro and Indo) bears a distinctly West Indian stamp, which at its best is an entirely West Indian expression.” What I appreciated in this piece is the description of the way they played the game distinct and apart from the colonial culture. Their rhythm and passion said African and Indian.It is not what we learn from them, that is the easy part,but what seem to be very difficult, more so for the Africans than the Indians in Trinidad and Tobago, is what do we bring to the competitive table of cultural comparison. Lets imagine for a moment a round table meeting with all the displaced races of the commonwealth,and the question is asked “What is your origin?” Answer ………on behalf of your father

    • johnx,

      Re “what is your origin?”, my screen name, Yoruba Israelite, is the answer. By paternal seedline, I am Hebrew Israelite. That is a reliable inference from Deuteronomy 28:68, as it would be also for most Afro-Trinis since we fit this prophecy, along with all the other curses listed in Deuteronomy 28:15-68. In my case it is more than reliable inference, it is certain knowledge, obtained by spiritual means. By maternal line, I am also Yoruba. And as it happens, the Yoruba are a partially Israelite tribe, descended from Zerubbabel.

      This identity is also key to the other question of what we bring to the international table. What we bring is everything, for we are the people of prophecy, the people of the book. Just as it was foretold by Moses, 3,000 years before it happened, that we would be brought into slavery “in ships”, it has also been foretold by all the prophets that we would be redeemed by Yahweh after he brings to an end the fourth kingdom of the gentiles (the present world order), and establishes his kingdom of peace and justice. In that final kingdom, it is us, the true Israelite, who will rule. Those who bless us will be blessed, and those who curse us will be cursed. The Indo-Trini who requites us hate for love and evil for good will come to regret it.

      For the present, in Trinbago, and in accordance with prophecy (Deuteronomy 28:43 — “… the stranger within thee will get up above thee very high…”), it is “Indian time ah come”, as Dr. Cudjoe tells us.

      But in the not far future, it is also prophesied that in all the world, it will be “redemption time ah come”, as Bob Marley has sung. When that great and glorious time comes, it will be we, the descendants of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, who will be prime among the true Israelites who will rule.

      We have been miseducated and misled, as also was prophesied, and we are for the most part still waking up to our true identity. For more, see LawOfTheHolyCovenantFoundation.Org.

      • “Those who bless us will be blessed, and those who curse us will be cursed. The Indo-Trini who requites us hate for love and evil for good will come to regret it.”

        Another failure in prophecy here. Yoruba Isralite I am going to say you are a false prophet. False prophet in the olden days were stoned to death. Your prophecies are misleading and downright hate filled. Please desist from condemning all Yoruba Isralites to your fate.

        • Dear Khem,

          I merely alluded to a scripture that is well known to those who read the book of Yahweh:

          Genesis 12:3
          “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

          And also:

          Psalm 109:4-5
          “4For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer. 5And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love.”

          Scripture also promises that Yahweh’s house will be a house for all people (Isaiah 56:6-7, Ezekiel 47:22). In particular, as mentioned above, there is a blessing promised for those who bless the children of Israel. You seem to want to ignore that part of the message.

          In any case, you would have to take up the matter with such as Moses, Isaiah and Ezekiel, and the one who spoke through them.

  • My dear Neal, I do not know what history you know, where you studied it or such, but here are some facts: The Romans enslaved all the people they conquerred. They deported thousands of Anatolians to Egypt to help grow wheat, and because they were considered trouble makers. This is why Egypt and other North African countries have so many light-skinned people. The word Slave comes from Slav, the way the blond haired Germanic people called themselves who came to Rome in chains, as slaves. Before that, people were called bondsmen, and until American slavery, it was for a specific period,. The white jaibirds deported from England to America, the West Indies and Australia, were all bonded into slavery for a specific period. According to Eric Williams’ research Andrew Jackson, president of the United States was once a slave.
    The nations of Africa, including the ancient empires of Mali, Songhay and Ghana, were slave societies, as were the Mayan society of the Yucatan. During WW11, the Germans enslaved a lot of their own people-the Jews they did not roast at Bergen Belsen and other places, and forced them to work for free in the Volkswagen and BMW plants.These biusinesses became very successful. Slavery is good economics. The Japanese, same period, enslaved 7 million Chinese people, including women forced into sexual slavery who were called Comfort Women. The Indians created, in addition to a caste system that kept the Chamar and the Dalits as slaves up to today, created debt slavery where, if a person owed money they could not pay, they became the slave of the person to whom the debt was owed. Since they lived on that person’s compound, and was fed scraps, the debt went on for many generations. It is so up to today in rural India. The Israelites were enslaved by the Egyptians. That is how Joseph managed to be in Egypt, his family sold him into slavery.

    The difference between other slave systems and the New World system, is that the African people were transported to a far place from which they could not return, and they were not captives in other types of wars,but wars were deliberately constructed to gain slaves.
    I am astonished that a prolific writer like you, do not know these simple facts which you could probably get from asking Yahoo.com a question or two.
    We fail in our Caribbean schools, and in many parts of the west, to teach the truth for political reasons. True liberation occurs when you go out there and find out for yourself.

    Now, in the memory and tradition of my father’s people, who were captured late, maybe about 1811 or 12, and were then siezed by the British off an American slaver, there was a three month journey to the coast of West Africa. That would put my people somewhere in East Africa. As a matter of fact, when I went to Malawi last year, and my frind’s car arried in their yard, I got out, put my hand on the ground, touching the bare earth, and said “Mama, I am home”.I recognized many of the herbs they use as medicine, as the same ones my father’s family use.A lot of westerners ge sick when they go to Africa, I maintain that you do ntot get sick in the land you belong on. My allergies took a vacation while I was there.Stay informed, stay safe, stay thoughtful.

  • My father’s African people landed as freedmen in Trinidad in 1815, and were part of the First Company, or First West India Regiment, settled near Williamsville. As far back as I can remember his people, as well as my mother’s people were landowners. All the houses we built up to 1955 were built of lumber from our land. So, its not a few women who were educated. We all were.

  • There is an African poem that I would recommend that you guys read. It begins “We erred too…” and talks of abandoning our household gods for others gods, and concludes that”others create thing, We created the people”. Put the title in a Yahoo search box, and check it out. Its only a sonnet.Revealing.

    Mrs. D. Emmanuel, my elementary school teacher, deserves a medal for teaching me to read. Reading is the single most liberating gift anyone can give. It denies you nothing. God Bless you, my dear teacher, soon to be 96. I hope you enjoy the DVD of my poetry I sent you. I write this here to proclaim your goodness to the world.Strong African woman, you are.

  • I have just forwarded to friends in TnT a piece from the New York Times, on the assassination, fifty years ago, of Patrice Lumumba. Interesting reading for those who like to connect the dots. http://www.nytimes.com

  • Davis Michael Emille

    The error of classifying anyone with one ounce of Afro-genes in them as African or of Afro origin is, was and will always be a great error in judgement. Remember, this was the method used by the Anglo-Saxons to deprive the offsprings of slavemasters from claiming freedom and an inheritance. Plantation owners saw their offsprings nby slavewomen as increasing their labor force. So there are many mulit-ethnic individuals like me who were forced into the camp of Black or Afro as this was convenient and benificial to the shapers of our society. Only when we have explored and accepted our full ethnicies, can we be said to be a fully mature individual. This person then, when educated in a wholestic manner can prove to be the most effective leader of any people. If we are well educated as to our ethnic world only, our leadership will be to the detriment of others outside ethnicity. The body of knowledge needed to lead cosmopolitan groups of people though ancient was not readily available to our leaders in past times. It is now. Few of our leaders today, very few have access to this knowledge. My generation, the last of the baby boomers, have access to it. New discoveries in all fields of science is a must have if we ough to lead effectively. The marriage of old and new style in Leadership is the right mixture for elevation into ledarship ranks at present. When we see the discourse above and we hear none call for establishment of The New School of Leadership, one must wonder, where have all the true leaders gone to?

  • Mr. Emille: As long as the people doing the judgment are the ones controlling the western media, things will not change. Any proposals you have for changing the way Europeans and North Americans view non-white people, including the mixed-bloods, would be welcome by me, and everyone in my family.
    One of my more interesting experiences on the north American cotinent was what you do with eating impliments. Invited to lunch at the head table of an institution, during a job interview, I proceeded to eat as West Indians do, Knife in right hand, fork in left only. There ws a silence in the room that I doid not consider odd, because I was doing what comes naturally. Then an elder woman in the gropu spoke up”Actually, she is doing it the right way. That’s how the British do it. We Americans are the wrong ones.” Suddenly there was a buzz of conversation to try to cover up what she had said.They had been busy assuming that since I came from the CAribbean, a place few of the had heard of, I was defineltely more “backward” than their Black people, so whatever I did with my eating tools had to be wrong.
    Now, that was more than forty years ago, but I still eat the same way, and in the company of strangers, they still stare.One of my pofessors in the Master’s programme I was in here,at a fairly distinguuished Uuniversity on the east coast, even assumed that we learnt these “lifestyle choices” as he called them, arrogant bastard, when we came to the US.
    I tore into his butt, and was designated the “Angriest Black Woman he ever met.” That’s what I become when faced with the ignorance of people who assume that they are better off based on an arbitrary concoction like skin colour, or sex.

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