Tag Archive for 'Selwyn R. Cudjoe'

Celebrating Unnamed and Unfamed Trinidad and Tobago Women

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 12, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeLast Thursday, International Women’s Day (IWD), millions of women around the world celebrated “the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.” The day also marked “a call to action for accelerating gender parity.”

Their website reminded us that IWD has occurred “for well over a century, with the first March 8 IWD gathering supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.”
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Garbage Country

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 05, 2018

“The constitutional conventions…provide the flesh which clothes the dry bones of the law; they make the legal constitution work.” —Sir Ivor Jennings

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeSomehow I can’t get the image out of my mind: a garbage truck, driving into East Dry River and dumping its contents in the middle of a city street. Some say the driver was forced at gunpoint to do so, while others said he showed his loyalty to his friends. The police contend that he dumped the garbage out of spite, malice, or mischief. He was charged “for willfully obstructing the free passage of a road and for littering” (Guardian, February 23).
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My Gambian Journey

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 26, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeMonday’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.
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Blackness Denied – Professor Selwyn Cudjoe

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Contradictions & Counterfactuals – Pt 3

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 20, 2018

“…a state could never have been born without surplus.” —Yanis Varoufakis


Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeReading Ralph Maraj and Kamal Persad’s contributions, one would think that Eric Williams and the PNM were the worst things that ever happened to Trinidad and Tobago (T&T). They seem to suggest that if only Badase Sagan Maraj and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had won the 1956 general election T&T would have been a paradise.
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Contradictions & Counterfactuals – Pt 2

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 13, 2018

“…a state could never have been born without surplus.” —Yanis Varoufakis


Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn the nineteenth century Trinidad saw the first massive giveaway of lands and bonuses to the Indians in lieu of their passages to India. Those options were never available to Africans. This was the first step in the systematic dispossession of Africans in the land to which they had been brought. Few of us seem to remember it.

Fast-forward to one hundred and thirty years (around the year 2003) when a PNM government engineered another massive giveaway of lands, which is taking place in front of our eyes under the faulty premise that Indians had the first preference because they farmed the lands. This was/is strange logic since these lands belong to all nationals.
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Contradictions and Counterfactuals

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 08, 2018

“…a state could never have been born without surplus.” —Yanis Varoufakis


Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeV. I. Lenin, revolutionary and philosopher, believed that contradictions are inherent in everything we do. He argued: “Dialectics in the proper sense is the study of contradictions in the very essence of objects.

Consider this: At the same time a PNM government (read black government) gives out 14,492 acres of land to ex-Caroni Ltd., workers (mostly Indo-Trinidadians) at a cost of $5 billion (Guardian, January 27), Kamal Persad claims that over the last 48 years PNM’s policies and programs “were directed towards the advancement of the black supporters of the PNM. [Eric] Williams’s intention was to create a local black professional middle and upper class to effectively replace the whites” (Express, January 24).
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Abdicating One’s Responsibility

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 30, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI am a bit stunned—ashamed is a better word—that the prime minister admits his inability to combat the most existential problem that faces our country. The prime minister declares: “I have noted the number of murders taking place and being reported in the newspaper daily…. I am being held responsible when it is the police service that has the power and authority to go after the criminals.”
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In Tribute to John Campbell

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 23, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI met John Campbell around 1990. I had just finished writing my book on V. S. Naipaul and was beginning another manuscript on Trinidad and Tobago Intellectual Thought of the nineteenth century. I needed to hire some research assistants to assist me in my work. I asked the history department of the University of the West Indies (UWI) if it could assist me in this endeavor. This search yielded three wonderful assistants of whom John was one. This was my first contact with this brilliant and engaging young man with whom I had the pleasure of seeing about a week before he passed away.
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This Woman Can Be Great

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 15, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeAs quiet as it is kept, women have always shaped our social and cultural identity. They have been the doers, recipients of the most brutal treatment at the hands of their oppressors and their mates, and a spur towards our liberation and development over the last two hundred years. Unfortunately, they do not always get the credit they deserve in our man-centered world.
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