Tag Archive for 'Selwyn R. Cudjoe'

Page 3 of 34

Cultural & Environmental Violence

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 20, 2019

“I bear a grudge that we in Trinidad do not pay enough attention to our heroes. They are the people that will give Trinidad life.”

—Beryl McBurnie quoted in Judy Raymond, Beryl McBurnie

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThere has been much coverage about the horrible murder of the prime minister’s boyhood friend John Miles and his wife Eulyn at the hands of a monstrously deranged person. This dastardly act led the PM to bemoan: “What have we become? What are we producing as ‘the next generation’? John and I grew up together in poverty, with pride, but violence and criminality were never part of our life” (Express, May 4).
Continue reading ‘Cultural & Environmental Violence’

Jamming the Poor, Still

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 13, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn 1981, after teaching in the United States for about ten years, I decided to return home for good. To do so I had to erect a personal library so I could do my work. Without my library I would be lost, so I asked my first cousin—one of those cousins who possesses the skills to do everything—to build a library at the back of my mother’s house.
Continue reading ‘Jamming the Poor, Still’

Obeahing the Word

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 08, 2019

“Can there be a national life without a national literature?”

—Jose Marti

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeMarina Warner, a distinguished English writer of Trinidadian provenance and professor of English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, University of London, read from her work, Fly Away Home, at the Bocas Lit Fest on Thursday. She argued, with tremendous encouragement from the audience, that imaginative literature possesses the capacity to capture dimensions of a society’s unconscious in ways that realist fiction seldom does.
Continue reading ‘Obeahing the Word’

Elton Herbert Nelson: A Phenomenal Man

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 02, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn Tuesday, March 26, Elton Herbert Nelson, a good friend and fellow teacher at Curepe E. C., now named Holy Saviour (Curepe) Anglican School, passed away. I could not allow his passing to go unnoticed and unrecorded; such was his stature and the indelible contribution he made to the life of Trinidadians and Tobagonians.
Continue reading ‘Elton Herbert Nelson: A Phenomenal Man’

The Dog and the Bone

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 22, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOver the past year, Ralph Maraj, a fellow columnist, has been a tick in PNM’s behind. He isn’t always wrong in his commentaries—even a broken clock is correct at least twice a day—but his obsessive fascination with PNM’s failures leads one to question his objectivity and the distorting lens of his overwrought rhetoric.

Last Sunday he listed everything PNM has done wrong during its tenure and why he is heartened by UNC’s plans as it prepares to govern from 2020.
Continue reading ‘The Dog and the Bone’

Learning by Example

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 17, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeA week ago Reginald Vidale, chairman of the Eric Williams Memorial Committee, begged the government “to celebrate the life and legacy of Williams as the founding father of the country and Caricom” and “to declare a day of remembrance, not necessarily a public holiday, to reflect on his contribution” (Newsday, April 4)

Ayanna Webster-Roy, Minister of Culture, countered by suggesting that, like Williams, the country must champion nation-building by following the nation’s watchwords: discipline, tolerance and production.
Continue reading ‘Learning by Example’

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.
Continue reading ‘New Daughters of Africa’

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?”
Continue reading ‘The Brexit Quagmire’

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).
Continue reading ‘Our Living Past’

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.
Continue reading ‘From Beautillion Ball to Brexit Cauldrom’