…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 R. Cudjoe
February 26, 2018
Monday’s disorder in East Port of Spain made me reflect on my recent visit to the Gambia where I participated in Mboka, a festival to celebrate Gambian as well as African diasporic heritage. Gambians “belong to the Senegambia region of West Africa, the general name given to the area drained by the Senegal and Gambia rivers” (Faal, A History of Gambia). Mboka or “One Family,” a Wolof word, is taken from the ethnic group of the same name.
Continue reading My Gambian Journey
By Corey Gilkes
August 01, 2017
No, I haven’t gone completely mad, just thought I’d try to grab your attention and so make you understand the importance of understanding what power words have.
Today is Emancipation Day, celebrating the ending of the enslavement of African people. You will hear the usual platitudes and speeches about how great we are and how we “broke the shackles of slavery”….and so on. Now as cynical as I’m sounding, those are important words to hear. So too are the sights of people walking around dressed in African or African-inspired attire, all that is praiseworthy.
Continue reading MOST OF US ARE ALREADY EMANCIPATED, UNFORTUNATELY
By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 21, 2017
I am sorry I am only now getting back to Kamal Persad’s response to my article, “Getting It Right” (March 26). I noted: “While Indians were treated in a horrible, inhumane manner…, there is no doubt the Indians were brought to Trinidad to undercut the progress that Africans were making at the economic front.”
Continue reading Spreading Planter Propaganda
By Cecil Paul & Gerry Kangalee
October 28, 2016 – workersunion.org.tt
We refer to a letter to the editor in the Express of October 27, 2016 in which one R. De Verteuil is “sick and tired” of Laventillians complaining “about how neglected and disadvantaged they are, and how much more money the government should throw in their direction”.
Continue reading French Creole Revision of History
August 02, 2016
“The stories of our past should not condemn us to the turmoil of acrimony; but rather they should show us a path for achieving the positive and prosperous development of our country now and for the generations to come. . . . We are currently writing new pages in our history. . . . We need to ask ourselves, are we facilitating new prejudices and divisions in our society? Are we perpetuating a mindset of entitlement – claiming rights where instead we should accept personal responsibility? . . . Are we committed to working together in the best interest of our country? Can we look past the ‘me’ and ‘my group’ to the bigger picture of nationhood?”
Continue reading Self-Identity: The Key to Mental Emancipation
By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
Submitted: July 31, 2016
Posted: August 02, 2016
Tomorrow (August 1st) is Emancipation Day. It’s a day on which the formerly enslaved commemorate their freedom; a practice they have undertaken since 1848 although there have been interruptions over the years. Generally, two different strata (those whose bread had been better buttered and those whose bread have been larded) have celebrated their emancipation in different ways.
Continue reading May Their Bread Be Buttered Over
August 1, 2016 – guardian.co.tt
In the new pages of history currently being written in T&T, questions that arise include whether people are facilitating new prejudices and divisions in T&T’s society and also, if a mindset of entitlement is being perpetuated, says Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.
Continue reading PM: Are we perpetuating a mindset of entitlement?
By Corey Gilkes
August 06, 2014
Years ago, the late economist and social thinker Lloyd Best pondered over the question of how does one save a culture from itself. This is a question we have not collectively dealt with as we continue to entangle ourselves more and more in the destructive aspects of this culture that we’re partly responsible for creating. Somewhere along the line, Emancipation, understood as “freedom” – and I’ll come back to that later – was hijacked to become something that was tolerant of mediocrity, the spurning of ambition, industriousness and intellectual pursuits. Small wonder some people say “dey should bring back de white man” because we’ve made a mess of our Independence (and our Emancipation). I don’t necessarily subscribe to such a self-loathing sentiment but much of what we’re doing to ourselves and our space certainly gives credence to it.
Continue reading Emancipate Yourself from … Yourself
By Corey Gilkes
September 03, 2011
In the days just before and after Emancipation Day I paid close attention to many of the comments and discussions on certain radio talk shows and in the newspapers and frankly I don’t know which side worries me more: those who oppose Emancipation Day or those who support it. Is kinda like de time when people responded to the charge by evangelist Benny Hinn that he saw plenty voodoo in Trinidad. Those simplistic bible-wavers who agreed with him as well as many who angrily denied what he said both had one thing in common: a profound lack of knowledge about and contempt for that ancient belief system. Likewise, many who don’t approve of Emancipation Day and things openly African displayed very clearly near complete ignorance about Africa.
Continue reading So, What’s Africa to YOU?