By Dr Selwyn Cudjoe
September 07, 2020
Chadwick Boseman, star of Black Panther, died last week Friday. The next day, former student Olivia Funderburg wrote me the following note: “Boseman’s death feels similarly shocking to Kobe Bryant’s death, in its suddenness. I was recalling how excited I was when you took us to see Black Panther. It meant so much to everyone that they got to see the movie with their friends, and with you. The way that Boseman embodied the Black Panther character and historical figures like Jackie Robinson, makes his death feel that we have lost a real-life superhero.”
Continue reading The black superhero
…and examining colonials’ ‘deceitful bait-and-switch’
By Claudius Fergus
August 16, 2020 – wired868.com
In defiance of the rapid community spread of Covid-19, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, kept the promise he made on Emancipation Day 2019 to unveil T&T’s first emancipation monument—the only live public event on Emancipation Day 2020.
Like many thousands of other Trinbagonians, I missed the commemorative spectacles of the longest day in the Pan-African Festival’s calendar. But instead of regrets, the occasion motivated me to reexamine the intellectual underpinnings and contradictions of Britain’s 1833 Abolition of Slavery Act.
Continue reading Emancipating old narratives of ‘emancipation’
By Dr Selwyn Cudjoe
August 12, 2020
Last Tuesday, Joseph Biden, the nominee of the Democratic Party, selected Kamala Harris to be his running mate in the next US presidential election. If she is elected, she will become the most powerful woman in the Democratic Party and a strong candidate to become the first US woman president.
Harris was not selected primarily because of her academic brilliance, political acumen or prosecutorial experience, although she possesses all these attributes. She was selected because black democrats demanded that a black woman be selected because they saved Biden’s candidacy when it was floundering.
Continue reading In defeat, defiance
By A. Hotep
August 15, 2020
The Supermarket Association of Trinidad and Tobago (SATT), and by extension the business community, was never interested in addressing racism. Poor working conditions and poor remuneration packages are all part of class and racial discrimination which, at the very least, renders many members of the business community complicit. Now that people are prepared to take action to deal with racism, the business community should not be allowed to set the standard for redress. This was made clear by SATT’s quick backpedalling of its boycott of Ramsaran-branded products after calling on the company to “[seek] the appropriate remedial action in a consistent and satisfactory manner.” Aside from the Ramsaran’s text-book apology and “firing” of the owner’s daughter, how has the company demonstrated appropriate remedial action?
Continue reading Sorry, Not Sorry: The Business of Racism in T&T
By Corey Gilkes
August 09, 2020 – wired868.com
Interesting how fried chicken could bring to light so much issues that explain what’s wrong with our society. One chicken drumstick is all it takes to expose certain realities, all of which are integrated, interlocked and in some aspects, results of deliberate actions.
Continue reading Keep Feeding Contempt; or imagine a better world for the ‘small man’
By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
July 21, 2020
I have been following the “the polytricks” taking place in Guyana, a land that “has been a torn and tortured terrain with divisive seeds sown in the colonial waters” as Sir Hilary Beckles described it (Express, July 13.) It’s not an overreach to say we are witnessing a replay of a traumatic encounter that took place years ago.
In 1970 Forbes Burnham declared Guyana a Co-operative Republic. I visited Guyana in 1972, the year in which the first Carifesta and the Non-Aligned Nations’ conference took place under the aegis of Comrade-Leader Burnham. It was a new and exciting time.
Continue reading Making a Truce with Reality
By Darren Bahaw
July 09, 2020 – newsday.co.tt
A second disturbing video has surfaced on social media of events which took place after police shot and killed three men on June 27, in Second Caledonia, Morvant.
It has sparked new criticism in comments online from people who have watched the 39-second clip.
The video, which appeared to have been recorded by a home security camera, from in front, shows the actions of police from a different angle, seconds after the shooting incident.
Continue reading New video emerges in Morvant police killing
By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
July 06, 2020
While the world has been impacted by the Black Lives Matter movement, none of the political parties of T&T has issued a statement on its relevance to black people of this country. Nor, for that matter, have they told us how they will deal with the impoverishment, unemployment, alienation and miseducation of our black youths.
Necessarily, black youths from these under resourced communities have reminded us that black lives matter and that there must be an accounting for past wrongs and present grievances. Predictably, there will be more clashes between the police and the youths of these deprived communities if things continue as they are going.
Continue reading Do Black Lives Matter in Trinidad?
By A. Hotep
July 05, 2020
Some people in this country are intent on shifting the dialogue away from the questionable and seemingly extrajudicial killing of three men by the police in Morvant, which was captured on CCTV footage, to centering discussions on the conduct of black youths in deprived communities. The obfuscation of the issue, evident in the commentaries by leaders, and echoed by radio and online commentators, perpetuates the view that when black people in poor communities are killed and otherwise abused, it is they who are at fault. Another twist to the narrative by the police and by the government is the claim that protests against the killings are part of an organised plot to destabilise the country. This perspective serves the agenda of those who have orchestrated and/or sanctioned the use of strong-arm tactics to stifle the protests. Meanwhile, the real issues of community neglect, crime (including white colour crime) and the heavy-handed approach of the police in these mostly black communities are pushed aside.
Continue reading Brute Force, Blame and Bigotry: Police Killings in Morvant
By Dr Tye Salandy
July 02, 2020
Approximately 50 years ago, mainly young people — disillusioned by the continued colonial nature of the country, the deep racism, classism and limited opportunities — made brave efforts to improve things. Instead of the then government, led by Dr Eric Williams, listening and properly engaging with these persons, the leaders of the movement were arrested and jailed, people were beaten and brutalized, and persons were hunted, shot and even killed. “Law and order” were not about the best interest of the citizens but about preserving the status quo. Fifty years later we are faced with unrests that parallel the Hosay Riots, the Camboulay Riots, the 1919 Labour riots, the 1930s Labour uprisings, and the 1970s Black Power movement. It is this eruption of discontent from those who are experiencing the depths of marginalization and brutality that has historically brought about the greatest improvements in conditions in unjust social structures. All of them were met with brutal violence by authorities, yet when history looks back, all these events were important parts of the evolution of our society. By all indications, the present government has not learned these lessons and may repeat the grave errors of the past.
Continue reading Protests and State Violence: Leaders Must Stop Dodging Responsibility