Tag Archive for 'Selwyn R. Cudjoe'

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New Daughters of Africa

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 08, 2019

“Know you not that love, when firmly established, is priceless?”

—Nana Asma’u, “Lamentation for ‘Aysha.'”

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI met Margaret Busby in the 1980s just after her press (Allison & Busby) published three volumes of C. L. R. James’s collected work (The Future in the Present [1977], Spheres of Existence [1980], and At the Rendezvous of Victory 1984]). It was an exciting time for James scholars. The assembled pieces were important parts of James’s intellectual corpus.
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The Brexit Quagmire

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 06, 2019

“If you compared Britain to a sphinx, the sphinx would be an open book by comparison. Let’s see how that book speaks over the next week or so.”

—Jean-Claude Juncker, President, European Commission

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeLast Friday Britain was supposed to leave the European Union (EU) after which the land, as Boris Johnson and his Tory friends assured us, was supposed to be flowing in milk and honey. March 29 has come and gone. On that very day the British Parliament rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan to leave the EU for a third time. This left British citizens asking: “How did we go so perilously wrong?”
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Our Living Past

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 28, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeTony Barber, Oxford scholar and European editor of the Financial Times, recalls an interesting occurrence when the European Union sought to write a European history book. “One historian from each EU member state was commissioned to write a chapter. The project was abandoned after the British complained that a Spanish historian had dismissed Sir Francis Drake, the Elizabethan maritime hero and victor over the Spanish Armada in 1588, as a mere ‘pirate'” (Financial Times, March 16).
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From Beautillion Ball to Brexit Cauldrom

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 18, 2019

“Brexit has killed and saved her [Theresa May] at the same time….She knows as soon as Brexit’s done, she’s done.”

—Ayesha Hazarika, Former Labor Party Adviser

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIt was one of those all-consuming weeks. I did a book-signing at Wellesley College, Massachusetts, on Wednesday March 6 before flying to Dallas, Texas, the following Friday to attend my eldest grandson’s Beautillion, one of those black coming-of-age functions that has its origin in the southern part of the United States. Another grandson called it “a cotillion for dudes,” it being comparable to the cotillion ceremony that is held annually for young black women.

It was one of those proud moments in a black man’s life when he participates in a function that emphasizes his responsibility to his people, his roots, and his family as he crosses the threshold from adolescence to manhood. They call it “a rite of passage.” It is an important stage in a young man’s life.
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Cultural Policy and National Development

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
Posted: March 16, 2019

A lecture delivered at the Public Library of Trinidad and Tobago, Adult Education Program, January 11, 1983. This lecture can be located at the Trinidad Public Library, Port of Spain, under the call number Ref. W.I. 308, Cudjoe (Trinidad Collection, January 1983). Slight editorial changes have been made to the original document for this publication.

Introduction

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeBecause slavery and colonialism meant the economic, political, and cultural enslavement of our people, the transition from colonial to genuine independence must, of necessity, concern itself with the economic, political, and cultural transformation of our peoples. In fact, it seems to me, that we cannot speak of any meaningful transition, any authentic expression of the national soul/spirit unless we give some serious consideration to these aspects of our national development: none of which, I’m afraid, has been given any serious consideration by our present government in Trinidad and Tobago. This evening, I will concern myself with what I have termed cultural policy and the manner in which it conduces to national development in Trinidad and Tobago.
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The Morality of Politics

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 09, 2019

“The lesson that Kim Jong-Un has learned [is this]: If you give up your weapons, American will kill you.”

—Daryl Kimball, Executive Director, Arms Control Association.

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeBasdeo Panday once said famously: “Politics has a morality of its own.” As one looks at the unfolding of the political atmosphere in the United States, one can’t help but reflect on Panday’s prescience. Panday’s insights were not original, but he uttered a truth that is being played out in the U.S. today.

On Wednesday, as President Donald Trump was meeting with Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, about the prospect of taking steps toward nuclear disarmament in North Korea and other measures to ease tensions in the Korean peninsula, Michael D. Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer, was pouring his guts out about the president’s amoral actions before and after he attained the presidency.
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While I Am Here!

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 25, 2019

“Until all races see each other as brothers and sisters and not as competitors or enemies Trinidad and Tobago is not going to move forward.”

—Kamla Persad-Bissessar

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI congratulate the Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar for the brave speech on race relations in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) that she delivered on Monday, February 11. While I do not agree totally with the accuracy of her “short history lesson,” thinking in and of the future is much more important than being mired in the commess of the present. Demeaning Persad-Bissessar’s important insights by castigating the probity of her having Malone Hughes, a brother who was charged and fined several times , on her platform does a disservice to a brilliant analysis of our present condition. It reduces a pressing existentialist issue to a misguided rant about non-sense.
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Sex Behind the Convent Veil

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 18, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeFrom Wednesday to Saturday this week Pope Francis will meet at the Vatican with Roman Catholic bishops from around the world to discuss the global sex abuse crisis that is threatening his “legacy and the moral capital that is the currency of his pontificate” (NYTimes, Feb 5, 2019.)

Maria Abi-Habib and Suhasini Raj recounted the story of Bishop Franco Mulakkal of India who agreed to personally celebrate the First Communion for Darly’s son, a rare honor in the Roman Catholic Church.
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The Door of Tomorrow

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 12, 2019

“The civilization of the fathers was hinged on the preservation of that which already existed, not on the discovery of new things.”

—Chigozie Obioma, An Orchestra of Minorities

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeBrian Harry is a Trini who was educated at Queen’s Royal College. He has lost several friends because of his outspokenness. Some years ago he told me that a major difference between a developed and a developing society is one of attitude. Citizens of a developed society think of what they can do; citizens of developing societies always think about what they can’t do.

This distinction came to mind on January 29 as I read the Trinidad Express and the New York Times articles of how two jurists approached matters of public policy. The cases involved the use of marijuana and each jurist’s response to it. I appreciate that we are talking about two different systems of jurisprudence, but their responses to a similar problem was interesting.
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What Constitutes an Educated Trini?

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 04, 2019

PART 2

“The school curriculum is not delivering the quality of individual we need to build the nation.”

—Paula-Mae Weekes, President of Trinidad and Tobago

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeNeal Phillip, professor and chairman of Chemistry and Chemical Technology at Bronx Community College, City University of New York (CUNY), wrote the following article, “Preparing Students to enter a 21st Century Workforce,” at my instigation. I wanted to follow through on suggestions to improve high school education in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T). I reproduce Professor Phillip’s article with a few editorial changes.
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