Tag Archive for 'Selwyn R. Cudjoe'

The Impact of Caribbean Culture on North America

Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe delivered this lecture on June 27, 2014 in New York for National Caribbean-American Heritage Month.

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 28, 2014

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeWhen Brother Aggery Dechinea, associate director of grievances and legal services, asked me to address you on the impact of Caribbean Culture on North America, I really had to scratch my head for the simple reason that North America includes Canada and the United States and as much as we would like to cross boundaries I thought it best that we narrow our focus to “The Impact of Caribbean Culture on the United States.” This is certainly much more doable.
Continue reading ‘The Impact of Caribbean Culture on North America’

Happy Indian Arrival Day: Documenting Indian/Trinibagonian History

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 01, 2014

Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe“A child is as much wronged by being left uneducated as it is by being left unfed.” Antoine Fortune, Public Opinion, October 30, 1888.

I endorse Sat Maharaj’s offer of grants of “about $100,000 to local historians who wish to document ‘authentic’ East Indian history in the communities” (Express, May 25). Although I don’t know what Sat means by “authentic” history or what constitutes misrepresented histories “by the children of converts,” I still think his thrust is correct. We need to pay greater attention to our past so that we can better understand our present.
Continue reading ‘Happy Indian Arrival Day: Documenting Indian/Trinibagonian History’

Confessions of a Soft Man

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 13, 2014

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeLet me confess to my eternal shame that I am a soft man. After my prostatectomy (an operation for prostate cancer) about six years ago, I am sure that I can never win any titles for possessing the hardest hard which some of our calypsonians, promoters of this kind of wisdom, proclaim is the true sign of a real man.
Continue reading ‘Confessions of a Soft Man’

Cuffie’s Fantasies

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 11, 2014

Part 1

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeMaxie Cuffie is a dear friend. It is unfortunate that he misrepresented and distorted what I said in my article. In his anxiety to defend our party, he simply repeats and repositions what he believes rather than to confront the points I made in”PNM’s Last Chance.” (Express, March 3 & 4, 2014)
Continue reading ‘Cuffie’s Fantasies’

PNM’s Last Chance

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 05, 2014

Part 1

A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones—and South Africa treated its imprisoned African citizens like animals.

—Nelson Mandela

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI am pretty certain that Keith Rowley will emerge victorious during the PNM’s party election and go on to become the next prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago. Fortunately, that is the easy part of the political equation. The more difficult part is to govern in such a way that the society emerges in a better place than it is in 2014. That’s the challenge PNM faces when it takes the helm of government. However, if Rowley and the PNM fail to leave Trinidad (and especially our brothers and sisters in our depressed areas) in a better way than they found them in 2014, one can confidently predict that 2020 would mark the beginning of the end of the PNM as a political force in our country.
Continue reading ‘PNM’s Last Chance’

The Indian Experience in Trinidad, or The Triumph of Ideology Over Scholarship

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 24, 2013

No one, again with the exception of the extinct Carib people, and perhaps the Spanish people can claim to be ‘natives’ of the island. All peoples were newcomers to Trinidad, and all were immigrants. The immigrant nature of the society of Trinidad needs to be recognized for what it was and what it is. (537)

GeradTikasingh, Trinidad During the 19th Century

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeGerad Tikasingh has written an interesting book, Trinidad During the 19th Century: The Indian Experience, an extension of his doctoral thesis, “The Establishment of Indians in Trinidad, 1870,” that he completed at UWI, St Augustine, Trinidad in 1973. Although his book is filled with facts, it is marred by an ideological orientation (one may say Indo-centric perspective) and a negative rendering of the African experience in the country. This book continues an argument made by other Indo-Caribbean scholars that suggests that the dominance of an Afro-centric ethos (which Tikasingh calls a “black bias”) has “tended to downplay, if not obscure the parallel Indo-Caribbean experience of indentureship and its contributions to Guyanese and Trinidadian culture in particular” (see Frank Birbalsingh, Indo Caribbean Resistance, 1993).

Continue reading ‘The Indian Experience in Trinidad, or The Triumph of Ideology Over Scholarship’

Preserving the Tacarigua Savannah – Part 2

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 20, 2013

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI don’t know what area of Trinidad Anil Roberts comes from and on what basis he makes the claim that a Regional Sporting Complex “is forty years overdue” or why he feels that a sporting complex “equipped with facilities for all citizens to use for sports such as cricket, football, swimming, squash, tennis and table tennis” (Newsday, September 16) is the best use we can make of the remaining ten acres of the natural savannah of Tacarigua.
Continue reading ‘Preserving the Tacarigua Savannah – Part 2′

Preserving the Tacarigua Savannah

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 09, 2013 – trinicenter.com

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeTacarigua, one of the oldest villages in Trinidad, has always been a peaceful village. In fact, it has been so peaceful that there has never been a police station in that village.(1) One suspects that the presence of its savannah, the second largest in the country after Queen’s Park Savanna in Port of Spain-that is, until the construction of homes on those magnificent grounds in the 1950s,-the gentle-flowing waters of its river to which all repaired on a Sunday, and the peaceful mixture of its peoples-Hindus in Paradise, Muslims in Dinsley, and Africans in St. Mary’s-all added to the attractiveness of the place and mutual respect each accorded to the other. In a way, it could be said that the Tacarigua Savannah held the village together. It certainly was the central spot where everyone gathered.
Continue reading ‘Preserving the Tacarigua Savannah’

The Blackness of Black or, How Black is Really Black?

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 06, 2013

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn responding to my article of her representation as to who was the first black legislator in Trinidad (see the Trinidad Express, July 26), Professor Bridget Brereton, one of our most distinguished historians, raised more questions than she answered even as she sought refuge in the philosophical theory called solipsism. Professor Brereton is unwilling to concede that St. Luce Philip possessed any blackness (or did he possess just a little bit?) because, as she says, he was of mixed race; light-complexioned; married a white wife and would not have considered himself black, nor would he have been so considered by Trinidad society in the 1830s.
Continue reading ‘The Blackness of Black or, How Black is Really Black?’

Dr. St. Luce Philip: The First Black Legislator of Trinidad and Tobago

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
July 25, 2013

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn July 17, Professor Bridget Brereton wrote in the Trinidad Express that Cyrus Prudhomme David was the first black legislator to sit in the Trinidad and Tobago Legislative Council. This is not true. It is the repetition of a position that Brinsley Samaroo articulated in his pamphlet, “Cyrus Prudhomme David: A Case Study on the Emergence of the Black Man” (1970). It needs to be laid to rest for the fiction it is.
Continue reading ‘Dr. St. Luce Philip: The First Black Legislator of Trinidad and Tobago’