Tag Archive for 'Selwyn R. Cudjoe'

Black Lives Matter: A Footnote to History

Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 25, 2016

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI delivered these remarks at the “Battle of Ideas Festival” organized by the Institute of Ideas and held at the Barbican Center, London, England. The panel, entitled, “From Black Panthers to #Black Lives Matter: Race in America” was sponsored by Newsweek, the European edition. These remarks, “A Footnote to History,” were delivered on Saturday, October 22, 2016.
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Black Advocacy in T&T

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 18, 2016

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI wish to take up where I left off last Sunday to examine the implication of the “Report of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Dissent on Its Mission to the United States” for Trinidad and Tobago since there is an assumption that these reports have no relevance to our society. Sometimes we even refuse to believe that the slave experience lies at the base of our society masking our origin under the umbrella of an illusionary multiculturalism.
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Always Remember

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 09, 2016

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn academic and political lectures, when I refer to the negative psychological and economic impact slavery has had on black people, my questioners usually retort: “You have to bring up slavery again?”

The same people who object to my bringing up slavery’s impact upon black people have no objections when Jews urge their people: “Never forget!”
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Extremisms in the Defense of Liberty

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 03, 2016

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThis year’s US presidential election is perhaps the strangest of them all. In 1964, I witnessed my first US election when Barry Goldwater of Arizona challenged President Lyndon Johnson in the aftermath of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963. As a Southerner, he realized the difficult tasks that faced the nation. His challenge was to insure that black citizens enjoyed the same rights as white citizens which he achieved when Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that outlawed discrimination on the basis of race, color or religion. In 1965, he signed the Voting Rights Act that removed the legal barriers that prevented blacks from voting.
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Integrity and Probity

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 27, 2016

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI am an old timer. I believe integrity in public life predates the establishment of the Integrity Committee. My mother, born in 1909, used to say: “When ah dead, if anybody say ah owe dem any money, tell dem dey lie.” Her word was her bond. She believed each of us possesses an innate sense of what is right and wrong which tells us when we have transgressed those boundaries. Such a credo was part of an ethical value system that we, as black people, learned from our nineteenth-century ancestors. In those days, we did not need an Integrity Committee to tell us what constitutes ethical behavior.
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Every Cook Can Govern

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 19, 2016

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday of this week, the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival shall premier “Every Cook Can Govern: The Life, Impact & Works of C. L. R. James,” a film that was produced by Worldwrite, an English non-profit or charity organization. The producers describe this documentary as “The world’s first film on the life of a fearless and uncompromising revolutionary.” There is much truth in advertising here. “Every Cook Can Govern” is a well-crafted and informative film about one of Trinidad and Tobago’s most distinguished intellectuals and Marxist theoreticians.
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The Monumentality of it All

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 14, 2016

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIt’s Sunday, September 4th. I am in Rome, Italy. The sun is ablaze but it is not a Trinidad hot sun. There is no breeze and the heat radiates from the earth, making you feel as if you are being roasted alive. I visit the Palazzo Barberini, the National Gallery of Ancient Art that was conceived to celebrate the artistic passion of Maffeo Barberini who became Pope Urban VIII in 1623. As a cardinal, he sponsored many artists with his patronage.
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A Cry for Social Justice

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 05, 2016

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn his article “Black Caucus, Black Humor,” Raymond Ramcharitar pours scorn on the BCM’s (Black Caucus Movement) demand for “land in Caroni for ‘Africans’ and saying it’s a love thing” (Guardian, August 17). He sought to reduce its position to “black humor” and to deride its claim for social justice it wishes to bring to the public’s attention.
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Intellectual Honesty

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 29, 2016

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn the latter part of the 19th century when thinkers were reducing Karl Marx’s notion of man’s economic dimensions (an analysis he began in Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844) to saying man is an economic animal exclusively, Frederick Engels wrote to Joseph Bloch on September 21, 1890: “According to the materialist conception of history, the ultimately determining element in history is the production and reproduction of real life. Other than this neither Marx nor I ever asserted. Hence if somebody twists this into saying that the economic element is the only determining one, he transforms that proposition into a meaningless, abstract, senseless phrase.”
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Normalizing Non-sense

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 22, 2016

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOne of our problems in Trinidad and Tobago is our attempt, sometimes, to normalize non-sense and call it wisdom. Take the non-sense offered by Joan Yuille-Williams that Patrick Manning called the 2010 election to expand our democracy or that by so doing he expanded our democratic possibilities. Not content with such non-sense she threw God into the mix as if to say, “God make him do it.”
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